Futsal sides qualify for national finals

Eoin Harte

The DCU Women’s Futsal side.

Both the men’s and women’s futsal sides have qualified for the Futsal National Finals in March.

David Azcona, captain of the men’s side, spoke to The College View about his experiences playing with the team so far.

Azcona had previously played for DCU’s futsal team but wasn’t involved last year as he was studying in Arizona.

“Fran [Butler] reached out to me to be involved in the team because I competed two years ago,” Azcona said.

However, the Spanish student currently studying for a PHD in computing, said that he was surprised to be handed the captaincy.

As the team were on the way to Meath to play in a qualifying tournament, Butler told Azcona, ‘you’re in charge of the team, you’re the captain, good luck.’

Azcona has plenty of experience from his time playing futsal in Spain and believes it helps develop players for soccer.

“In futsal the ball is heavier and smaller, so the game is more technical, you develop more skills with the ball. In some countries like Spain kids play futsal until they are like seven years old and then they move to soccer or stay at futsal.”

The PHD student is confident of the men’s teams chances after impressive performances earlier in the season, with a team that were unfamiliar with each other.

“I think they’re really high to be honest,” Azcona said of winning the National Finals.

“We had a decent team, but none of us knew each other, so I think we can do well. We didn’t plan on winning we just went there for the craic to be honest.”

In Futsal, players constantly rotate positions, so all players need to be able to attack and defend. “[The games] were like ten minutes and ten minutes so we had to focus on defence.”

The men didn’t have a proper goalkeeper going into the qualifying tournament so they had to make the most of what they had.

“It was one guy in the beginning and he did okay, then the other guy did pretty good so we left him in goal.”     

The women’s team are also in the running to win the National Finals and performed well last year according to DCU soccer player Denise Callinan.

“We won the shield as far as I know, we didn’t get into the cup but we got into the second division so we actually ended up placing.”

However, their hopes weren’t quite as high going in to the qualifiers as they were struggling to get numbers.

“I actually was very shocked because we went away there last week and we had bare minimum, we had five players. Just the time of the year and it was short notice so our expectations on the way weren’t high.”

DCU still managed to qualify though and Callinan says futsal is a hit among the players.

“Its run better. They’re short games but they’re high pace. I think most of the girls I’ve spoken to prefer it to the proper 11 a side.”

Eoin Harte

Image Credit: DCU Soccer / Twitter.