Courtesy: The Timaru HeraldFutsal camp to spot talent03/05/2012
Timaru is set to host a New Zealand futsal training camp in June.
Selected players scouted from the Futsal National League and top college teams of the South Island federations, Mainland Futsal and Futsal South will be at the selection camp, at the SBS Events Centre, on June 10.
The sport is essentially an indoor version of football, played on a smaller 'pitch' and with five players-a-side.
New Zealand Football futsal development manager Dave Payne said the aim of the camp was to scout talent for the next four-year cycle as the Futsal Whites look to qualify for the 2016 World Championships.
The short-term goal for the team ranked third in Oceania, was to pick a squad for a three-match series against the Solomon Islands in September.
Payne said national coach Scott Gilligan had been sent 75 hours of footage from the national league in order to scout players.
Gilligan will be at the camp.
Payne said the three-match series with the Solomon Islands would be a crucial indicator on how the team was progressing as futsal was a major sport in the country.
"The chances of them having a field big enough to play football is quite small unless ou go to a private school.
"What they do have is a lot of small dirt grounds, so they tend to play a lot of five-a-side stuff," Payne said.
He said they would also have the best under-19 talent in the region, as the sport tries to offer a viable career option to up-and-coming players. "If you talk to some top footballers, (All White) Chris Wood played a lot of futsal, Costa Barbarouses is another who played a lot of futsal when he was younger.
"A lot of them would say futsal helped them become the players they are today.
"We want players to feel like there is a pathway in futsal," Payne said.
Former South Cantabrian Peter Rae was part of the New Zealand team which attended the World Cup of Futsal last year.
Timaru's Patrick Hill, Tymon Bernard and Brett Clifford, Andrew Coyle and James Blatherwick have all made national Viking Futsal teams, at age-group level, in the past.
The SBS Events Centre hosted a futsal match between New Zealand and a Brazilian residents team, two years ago.
Posted by Luca Ranocchiari