Futsal alive in St George

Game has roots back to 1930s in South America

By Marcelo Soler
Botany Bay Pirates Futsal Club


Dez Marton – Winner 1981 Rothmans Medal for St George Budapest Soccer Club

Dez Marton – The former St George Budapest Striker wants his soccer players to focus on skill development.

This offseason St George athletes have an opportunity to do that through a new outlet – futsal.

The soccer-based game started in South America in 1930, according to futsal.com. It came to Australia in the 1980s, and now is being played for the first time in an official Football NSW Futsal sanctioned futsal league in St George. The playing surface is about the size of a basketball court. It is played with smaller goals than outdoor soccer. Each team is comprised of five players each and is played with 1 goalie.

The game also uses a smaller, heavier soccer ball. Players in The St George Botany Bay Pirates Futsal Club have been meeting and training a couple times a week at The Tempe Futsal Center, which is located at The Robyn Webster Sports Centre at Tempe, to play the game.

Marton, who coaches both the NSW Womens Super League for The Botany Bay Pirates Futsal Club and The Rockdale City Sun‘s  SAP Under 9’s teams, said benefits include learning to dribble in a compact space and quick thinking. The game also keeps every player on the court involved in the game at all times.

This game, futsal, since it’s such a tight and compressed game it forces everybody to touch the ball with both feet in tight situations. With the repetition of them being forced to get involved in the action, it just develops in them these skill sets that they need. Once we can play in a tight, pressure situation on a floor this size, the size of a basketball court, we can take this game and place it anywhere on a large soccer field. And if we can play like this anywhere on a soccer field, then that helps us be a complete team as well.

Dez Marton, Director, Botany Bay Pirates Futsal Club

Marton, who has been consistently involved with St George FUTSAL and took over the head coaching position last summer, said  “Futsal is the Key to Australian soccer success”

Traditionally in the past, soccer communities have turned to indoor soccer in the offseason. Marton said he prefers futsal. The biggest differences between the two styles is that futsal is played with 1 goalie and there are no walls. The last difference is critical, according to Marton.

What indoor soccer does is it’s counter productive to the game of outside soccer, because you have walls, and people play it off the walls like in a hockey game,” Marton said. “To me, the conditioning that you get from indoor soccer and the touches on the ball are great, but it just doesn’t teach control and possession like futsal does

Dez Marton, Director, Botany Bay Pirates Futsal Club

The coach added that futsal is relatively new to the The St George area but has been played for more than a decade in the western suburbs of Sydney.

“I would just encourage the soccer community in The St George to really think long and hard about making a serious commitment to the future of soccer development and getting behind this particular program,” Marton said.



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