On the ball: Our trip to Spain with the York City Futsal Academy


If you’ve been keeping an eye on our blog, you’ll know that we recently announced our partnership with York City’s Futsal Youth Academy.

Well, the academy has been busy over the past few months, providing training sessions and matches to develop and nurture the youngsters’ technical and teamwork skills.

So, as sponsors, we were proud to see them take a trip to Spain over the Easter break to test their futsal development. This was no normal test, however - Spain, a leading nation for the development of futsal players and ranked 2nd in the world, was guaranteed to provide a tough trial, challenging and aiding the youngsters’ development.

21 academy youth players from York City travelled to the Valencian Spanish town of Peníscola, home to the professional club Peníscola Rehabmedic. They regularly play alongside Barcelona and Inter Movistar in the first division futsal league.

No longer the preserve of Brazil, Spain and Portugal, futsal is rapidly growing in popularity in the UK. Junior Roberti, head coach of York City Futsal, had the following to say...

“It’s been a great experience for the players to go to a club like Peníscola and compete with local Spanish teams.  We’ve been very well treated by the club who have provided training and development session for the players as well as being great hosts by showing us the local area and integrating York City Futsal with their club.  The players have learnt a lot, developed a better understanding of each other and created some memories that will stay with them for a long time. I’m so proud of how the players have played. They are a real credit to the York City brand.”

Junior Roberti, Head Coach at York City Futsal

“We love supporting this fast-growing sport in England and want to see more players get involved with their local Futsal clubs across the country. We’re so privileged to have Junior as the coach at York City Futsal. He really knows how to develop the players to the best of their ability. I think we could be seeing the makings of some amazing future England Futsal players here at York if these players continue to develop to their full potential. It feels really great to give something back to the community by helping a club like this”.

Gareth Barber, MD of The Stable Company

Interestingly, in Spain, youth players up to the age of 14 years only play futsal. Futsal is primarily an indoor game played on a court with a size 4 ball. The main difference is that Futsal only involves 5 players on the pitch and so the amount of time a junior player touches the ball is greatly increased. This helps develop their touch, control and passing skills - particularly crucial in the game of futsal - much more quickly.

At the age of 14, Spanish children then choose whether to continue with futsal as a career or move to the traditional football game. There are many famous footballers around who owe a lot to futsal - Coutinho (Barcelona) and Ronaldo (Real Madrid) to name just a couple; who knows whether the next version of one of these incredible players is within the York City Futsal ranks?

We can’t wait to see how the players get on!

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