Club nets National League berth

Hastings Futsal coaches Danny Barrellie (left) and Graham Knight (right) with two England Futsal coaches at St George's Park
Hastings Futsal coaches Danny Barrellie (left) and Graham Knight (right) with two England Futsal coaches at St George's Park

The locally-based Sussex Futsal Club (previously Hastings) has been accepted to play in the National Futsal League from the 2014/15 season.

After two years and countless hours of hard work, Sussex Futsal has been given the green light to play against nine other clubs in Division Two of the Southern League.

Club chairman Graham Knight said: “We are delighted that we have now been accepted into the National League. We were disappointed not to be accepted the previous season so this year we made sure our application was one of the strongest in the country and that turned out to be the case.

“I would like to personally thank everyone that has been involved in our journey to date from the players on the court, the children that enjoy our weekly futsal sessions and to the countless volunteered hours of everyone associated with the club, including all of our sponsors.

“Also thanks to Jimmy Elford, who has brought International futsal experience to the club, and Danny Barrellie, who commits around 15 hours a week in both the youth and adult sections, both of which played a key part of being accepted.

“Special praise should also be given to Kate Wilde, who oversees the ladies’ section and this gives a great pathway for young local girls that want to get into futsal and/or football.”

The club will now be able to provide a pathway through its junior ranks at Hastings Futsal which would then feed into the National League, England Centre of Excellences and potentially the England national team.

Sussex Futsal is now looking to bolster its National League squad and open trials will be held on Sunday (June 8) from 4-6pm at Hastings Academy. To request a trial, visit http://sussexfutsal.co.uk/elite-squads/

Knight added: “We want to put Hastings on the futsal map and feel the talent, knowledge and desire is there locally to do it so we want to hear from anyone that wants to get involved at the club in whatever capacity to get in touch. The hard work starts now and we can now begin to implement our five-year plan.

“We are currently recruiting the management team for the National League squad which will consist of four people. Three have confirmed and I am working hard for the final appointment that would complete the puzzle which will be an amazing coup for the club. Not many people will know of his futsal experience, but we are certainly aware and we will do all we can.”

Sussex Futsal is currently unsure of a home venue for its Southern League matches, although it will not be local as none of the venues in the area comply with the FA’s strict requirements.