I spent Friday evening ‘working’ at Tauranga’s fantastic ASB Arena. I was there to document the first evening of NZ Football’s Road Show, which was basically a full weekend of Futsal-related events.
It was fun. I got heaps of photos, some decent movie clips and, along with about 450 people, watched my first game of futsal. The Futsal Whites took on the WaiBOP Federation’s Futsal National League side in an entertaining encounter.
Futsal appears to have everything for the modern kid with a short attention span. It’s quick, sharp, you only need a handful of people to play it and you’re guaranteed goals. It’s good to watch and, I’m sure, even more fun to play. That’s probably why there is so much expectation within NZ Football for the growth of the game in this country (growth that already appears to be happening rapidly).
As for the match, it was closer than most people probably expected. The home side scored early through Melville United’s Shaun Kipara and pushed out to a 3-0 lead that probably left everyone wondering if this was the actual Futsal Whites we were watching.
It became apparent, as the match went on, that yes, it actually was. The national side got it back to 3-2 at the break then made sure of the result with a fairly dominant second half effort. They ran out 7-3 winners and missed several other sitters as what appeared like a first half training run morphed into a second half dismantling.
It was a good advertisement for Futsal and it was fun. Most of the crowd (who, like me, had no real idea what we were watching) would have left curious to know more. With leagues scheduled to start appearing over the summer they’ll have plenty of opportunity to find out.