New Zealand’s best futsal teams are converging on Auckland this weekend to compete for the right to be named Futsal National League champions for 2017.
There will be 16 games in the National Series 2 for the eight teams at the ASB Stadium in Kohimarama on Friday and Saturday to decide the four semi-finalists for the playoffs on Sunday.
Capital Futsal, who have won six, drawn two and lost two this season to be top of the table on 20 points, will be the team to beat but coach Callum Holmes is taking nothing for granted as they chase their first Futsal National League title.
“The table shows how close the competition is this year — only four points separate the top five teams,” said Holmes. “You know that every game is going to be tough, so you can’t take anything for granted. Our expectation is to make top four — from there, anything can happen.”
Holmes has been pleased with the progress of his side this season where Miroslav Malivuk (10 goals) and Luc Saker (8 goals) – first and joint second on the Golden Boot standings – have led the way for Capital.
“We have been building for a long time, and we’ve spent a lot of time focusing on ourselves. Instead of worrying about other teams, we’ve worked on our ability to adapt,” he said.
Behind Capital on the table are Northern (17 Points), Southern United (16 points), Auckland Football Federations (16 points) and WAIBOP (16 points) with all teams knowing that the weekend’s action will decide the title.
Bahram Ahmadi (8 goals) has been a standout for WaiBOP Futsal, while Michael Sannum (Southern United), Adam Cowan (Central Futsal – Manawatu), Daniel Culpan (Northern Futsal), Abdallah Amleh (Northern Futsal), and Anndrey Carpes (Auckland Futsal) have all scored seven goals and are within striking distance of the Golden Boot.
Dave Payne, the Chief Operating Officer at NZ Football, said the 2017 Futsal National League has been another tremendous showcase for futsal in New Zealand in a landmark year for the sport.
“With the launch of three new national teams in 2017, this year has provided local players, referees, team managers, administrators and coaches with invaluable experience at international level. In turn, the quality of the entire Futsal National League has gone from strength to strength,” he said.
Keegan McCauley, the Futsal Competition Manager at NZ Football, believed an exciting weekend was in store with all eight teams still in with a chance to make the top four and qualify for the playoffs on Sunday.
“There will be plenty of talent on display, with players from the Futsal Whites and the U18 Men’s team scattered throughout the federations,” said McCauley.
“This weekend will cap off another big year for futsal, so make sure you get on down to Kohimarama and check out some of New Zealand’s best futsal players in action.”
The Futsal National League National Series 2 and playoffs on Sunday will also be livestreamed from Auckland on the link below.
Futsal National League, National Series 2
When: 8 — 10 December, 2017
Where: ASB Stadium, Kohimarama, Auckland
Play-offs: Sunday 10 December
Watch the livestream; Click Here