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Futsal National League season kicks off in New Zealand

Futsal National League season kicks off in New Zealand
October 13, 2017

The ongoing development of futsal in New Zealand has seen the return to action of the Futsal Whites and history being created by debut appearances for the Futsal Ferns and national age-group teams of both genders.

The plethora of international activity arrives on the back of several years of remarkable progress at grassroots level and one of the main links between the those two aspects of the game returns this weekend as another Futsal National League season kicks off. The country’s showpiece futsal event underwent a significant expansion last year with the number of fixtures being increased and a key format change allowing for matches to be played in each region for the first ever time.

Previously, the league took place across three series with each held in one location but eight different venues are now set to host matches, making top-class futsal more accessible than ever.

Adding to that ease of access is free spectator entry and live online streaming of nearly every game.

New Zealand Football Futsal Development Manager Josh Margetts is excited to bring more quality futsal action to the public so soon after New Zealand’s suit of national teams took the court.

Margetts states “this league is one of our premier domestic competitions and is a key driver for the development of futsal across the country. Many of the junior and youth players in New Zealand see the Futsal National League as a future step in their progression through the futsal pathway.

“The impressive following of the livestream audience proves that the wider futsal and football community are just as engaged in the exciting nature of the league. All eight teams boast impressive line-ups that could challenge for the title and will be sure to provide plenty of goals and entertainment.

“With the league being the main selection tool for the Futsal Whites, it goes without saying how important it is for the success of the national team. This helps to continue the impressive momentum that the futsal national teams have gained from their recent success in the Trans-Pacific Cup and OFC Youth Futsal Tournament.”

New Zealand were largely triumphant in both of those tournaments, the Futsal Ferns and Futsal Whites both earning clean sweeps over New Caledonia before the U-18 women qualified for the 2018 Youth Olympic Games by becoming queens of their region and their male counterparts finished runners-up to a classy Solomon Islands outfit.

Most players from both men’s teams will be in action in the national league, which gets underway this weekend with matches in both the Northern Home Series and Southern Home Series. The games will be spread across two venues in the north – The Peak in Hamilton and Trusts Arena in Auckland – while Central Energy Trusts Arena in Palmerston North will host a pair of clashes between Manawatu and Capital.

The two teams from down south, Canterbury United Dragons and Southern United, must wait another week to get their seasons underway on 21st October in Dunedin.

Image courtesy of New Zealand Football.

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