Sports

Futsal, not football: SAIT Trojans soccer’s indoor rec sport taking off

SAIT Trojans futsal is gearing back up again with a big change, gaining official Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) status, and taking the indoor variant of soccer to a new height.

SAIT Futsal

SAIT vs Lethbridge men’s Futsal in Calgary on Sunday, Feb. 10, 2019. (Photo by Azin Ghaffari/SAIT)

Futsal is a form of soccer that is played indoors, with five-a-side including a goalkeeper. It is a very ball-oriented, fast-paced, and free form of the game.

For the ordinary soccer player, the transition into futsal might be very difficult. For goalkeeper David Miguez, it was familiar, having been a goalkeeper in the sport before his soccer career.

SAIT Futsal

SAIT vs Lethbridge women’s Futsal in Calgary on Sunday, Feb. 10, 2019. (Photo by Azin Ghaffari/SAIT)

Miguez saw how difficult the transition was for his teammates who solely played soccer.

“The rules change a lot. You go from a big field where you can run everywhere, to a small, fast-paced environment,” Miguez said.

“When you have a lot of space on the pitch, you can move freely. When you’re in a futsal court, you have to be ahead of every play.”

The team is exclusively for the athletes of the Trojans’ soccer program, becoming a piece of the bigger picture.

“At the school, we’re looking at it as a way of developing a year-round soccer program,” said assistant coach Daniel Broadhurst, who coaches both the men’s soccer and men’s futsal teams.

“It’s kind of nice to keep the guys together.”

He added it will give the opportunity for the light to shine on the players with skill sets better suited to the court rather than the pitch, and for the naturally gifted players.

“Skilled players really shine in this because of the lack of contact, and because of how ball orientated it is,” he continued.

In their first season, the Trojans men’s futsal team played in the Calgary United Soccer Association (CUSA).

The Trojans ranked second in the CUSA with a 9-3 record.

Their first season was “very successful,” according to Broadhurst.

“We ended up actually winning provincials.

“We were kind of the underdogs because a lot of our guys never played true futsal before,” Broadhurst explained.

Miguez, who is currently in his second year, believes there won’t be many obstacles that will completely hinder the team, and is confident going into this season.

“We’ve known each other for quite a bit now. That chemistry needs to be worked a bit, but other than that, the technique is there,” Miguez said.

SAIT Futsal

Trojans vs Bobcats Futsal in Calgary on Friday, Feb. 8, 2019. (Photo by Azin Ghaffari/SAIT)

“We already know the rules; I think we’re going to do great.”

The futsal season started with a pre-season exhibition tournament that took place Feb.8-10 at SAIT, featuring teams from Alberta, B.C., and Manitoba. Eighteen teams in total – nine men’s, nine women’s – took part in the tournament.

There are two days of actual conference play on March 15-16, where the Trojans will face off against the Kings University Eagles. After this, the playoffs and medal games will be held March 17.

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