Tag: reading royals

Weekend round-up #7 – LFL Conclusion, Return of NFS

After several weekends with disrupted outdoor events due to the wettest May on record in the UK, national-level competitions returned indoors for the first time in just over fourteen months. The FA’s futsal competition, the National Futsal Series (NFS) began their Women’s Super Series and their long awaited men’s “Summer Showdown” competitions. Over the next four weeks the men’s NFS1 teams will compete for a single Champions League spot, while the women’s clubs will compete for their national title. Meanwhile, NFS2 teams will also play a competition to determine another champion. It should provide plenty of entertainment over the coming weeks – some of the competitions are available live on the NFS official YouTube channel – futsal fans should subscribe here!

West London 10-8 Los Benjamines

First though, we need to tie up loose ends! The London Futsal League has been playing outdoors at Westway for the past six weeks, but inclement weather disrupted the final stages. This weekend the organisers made the sensible decision to play the final round indoors to finish the competition and crown a winner.

Los Benjamines have been so impressive and were undefeated thus far in the competition, whilst West London had started with no wins in their first three matches and were fortunate that the tournament format allowed them a path to the final.  WLF Started the match fast, taking an early two-goal lead, Osama and Fabio N getting on the scoresheet quickly. Los Benjamines fought back, levelling with two goals of their own and then with momentum on their side were able to press on and extend their lead to 3-2 at the interval.

WLF manager Douglas St. Louis’s changes at half time proved effective as the match swung back in their favour. Five second half goals from Osama, giving him six in total in the match and twelve in the competition overall , and even though tournament start player Erick was able to add a few himself in what became a ding dong affair, goals flying in from all angles, Los Benjamines were unable to overcome the early momentum shift and the tie finished 10-8 to WLF. This edition of the London Futsal League goes to them after an improbable turnaround, not only in the game but the competition as a whole! Congratulations to them, and well played to everyone involved.

West London Futsal – LFL Winners Spring 2021

Helvecia Ladies 6-0 Reading Royals Women

Helvecia, undoubtedly the most famous and successful futsal club in England have not only the strongest men’s team in the country, but also the most successful women’s futsal team – runaway and undefeated leaders in the COVID-stricken 2019-20 season, but also multiple national champions, both as Helvecia and in their previous guise as South London Ladies. This tie was therefore always going to be a baptism of fire for the relatively inexperienced Reading Royals Women’s side, who will no doubt find subsequent fixtures easier than this one. Nicole Pepper’s strike after a corner opened the scoring for Helvecia and was soon followed onto the scoresheet by Louise Hogan’s toe-strike into the bottom corner. Some excellent saves By Cristina Sarmiento kept it close for the first quarter, and Reading eventually settled into the match, making fewer errors and beginning to look like they might have some luck on the counter.

Helvecia, thanks to quality in particular from BT Sport’s Ultimate Goal star Selin Buyukgiray, continued to dominate the ball. Selin and her teammates passed it around with great precision, and eventually that dominance led to a goal just before half time – an excellent ball from Ana Alvarez-De La Iglesia was flicked delightfully in by the ever impressive Emma Tune – probably the best known female English player in the league. Helvecia began the second half well, and were relentless in putting Reading under pressure with and without the ball. Hogan set up Lucindha Lawson to score the fourth, and Helvecia were regularly able to find their way in behind Reading’s defence. Some excellent goalkeeping, and on several occasions the frame of the goal, prevented the score getting out of hand. Eventually Nerea Castro-Chaudarcas scored a fifth after being found at the back post by Arabel Vilas Serin. The best goal of the match was an excellent counter-attack, Tune breaking the length of the court with amazing speed after intercepting a Reading corner, and then showing composure to find Pepper who finished high into the goal. Tune, who on another day could have scored a hat-trick managed to hit the post again before time ran out. Viewers can re-watch the full match here

Liam Francis, Helvecia Head Coach told us after the match – “I thought we were excellent on Saturday, we controlled the ball from start to finish and didn’t allow our opposition too many opportunities to hurt us. It was a commanding performance and one that I am proud of for our first game after well over a year. I would also like to state just what a well-run team Reading Royals were, they showed great team spirit to keep driving on for the whole match, and I know they’ll cause an upset further down the line.”

Fernando Silva, Reading’s manager added – “It was our debut and we couldn’t be happier than to have the chance of playing against one of the best women’s futsal teams in the country. I’m super proud of our girls, we are going to keep working hard to get better every week. The team spirit is really high and after today’s game we are definitely a better team. It was amazing to be back indoors again after so long outside! Well done to London Helvecia for their deserved win.”

This Saturday Reading Royals will face Loughborough Students and Helvecia’s next opponent will be The University of Liverpool. Both matches will be live streamed on the NFS YouTube channel.

ProFutsal Dev 6-4 Reading Royals

Reading Royals were Premiership South champions in the National Futsal League last year – being awarded the overall title on ‘points per game’. Despite losing several key players to local rivals Wessex Futsal Club, they still have a very strong team, as proved by their recent showing in the Futsal Premier League. They began their ‘Summer Showdown’ campaign against ProFutsal Development, another excellent young team who have impressed in the Futsal Premier League this spring. They were boosted with the addition of senior players Charlie Hyman and Felipe Lima, both of whom were impressive in this match, which was an excellent display of passion, emotion and high intensity futsal right until the final seconds.

ProFutsal had the majority of the ball and were pressed with great intensity by Reading who in a similar fashion to recent displays in the FPL were happy to play a counterattacking game dominated by fast transitions and excellent distribution by their outstanding goalkeeper Dan Welch. Reading took the lead in the match after a well worked free kick was saved into the path of Josh Gillespie at the back post. ProFutsal managed to wrestle the game back with two well worked goals in the first half and then Ollie Kay scored at the back post after some excellent pivot play by Felipe Lima halfway through the second half. The game opened up from here on – a controversial goal that ProFutsal furiously complained was handball was scored by Reading. Hyman restored a two goal cushion, before Reading pulled another back with an expertly taken ‘double penalty’ by captain Phillip Lant. The Royals then drew level with yet another counter attack finished by Gillespie for his second. Then with 45 seconds left, an unfortunate ricochet fell nicely for Josh Nathan who finished past a helpless Welch. Chaos then ensued as Reading went for it, Welch joined the attack, Lant lost it in the middle, ProFutsal broke on a 3 v 1, with no goalkeeper and the defender did all he could to stop a certain goal and took the man out. Reading’s player was sent off, passions on the benches becoming frayed at this point. Lima scored the 10m penalty to put the game to bed and ProFutsal began with a win in a match that could easily have been won by either team.

Both teams will face Escolla Futsal Club in their next match, ProFutsal next weekend in Wycombe, then Reading the following weekend in Salisbury.

Sporting Southend 5-3 Bedford

Last season’s runners-up to Reading Royals in the Premiership South were Sporting Club Southend – an excellent team who improved as that season progressed, with some top players in their ranks. Nelson Santos has incredible talent with the ball at his feet and one-v-one is as good as anyone in the country playing futsal at the moment. Bedford have a less experienced team, and more home-grown players – but they felt they could cause Southend problems.

A flurry of early goals saw Santos open for Southend, a reply by Bedford via Samuel Smith, and the restoration of Sporting’s lead via another starting player in Bruno Vitorino. Jorge Correira extended their lead halfway through the first half. The second half was intense with both teams defending well – although things were threatening to boil over at one point. Pernell Taylor-Jacob pulled one back for Bedford, before Miguel Antonio scored for Southend. Bedford went fly-goalkeeper in an effort to save the game, and although Taylor-Jacob gave them hope, it was dashed by Vitorino who finished the game with a ‘double penalty’ in the final minutes.

Southend and Bedford face Wessex in their next matches.

We will continue to round-up as much action as we can – if you’d like your club to feature please get in touch with us at [email protected]

Weekend round-up #4

The bank holiday weekend still saw plenty of futsal action across the country, outdoor events still being universal for adults due to continuing COVID restrictions. Our weekly round-up of the London Futsal League and the Futsal Premier League continues, as well as having some reports left over from the previous weekend.

Futsal Premier League

ProFutsal Gold 8-1 Uni of Herts

Another good performance by Pro Gold after a shaky start puts them back in contention for a top two finish in Group B. Next week’s match-up with Genesis will decide their fate with advantage to Genesis who only need a draw. UoH will be disappointed after their excellent win last week against Newham, since a victory here would have put them on level terms with Genesis for second place, whereas now the best they can hope for is third place.

Genesis 9-2 London International

Genesis dominated this match from the start, making another tough week for LIFC. Genesis were 3-0 up at half time, London International almost looked like they might threaten their lead at 4-2 after goals from Rui and Amando, but Genesis upped the intensity and blew them away with excellent and ruthless finishing.

Wessex 7-0 Newham

Wessex are the runaway leaders of Group B and it showed here as they dominated from the start. Early goals meant they could sit back and hit Newham on the break at will. Both teams played substantial periods with fly goalkeepers. Another three from Matthews, as well as goal from Barr, Millar, New, and Mackie made it look bad for Newham, who will be disappointed to not have made a better fist of it.

Cambridge 3-4 Reading Royals

What looked like a tight game on paper proved to be the case on the court, with an exciting competitive game of futsal played with intensity until the very last seconds. Reading had a dream start with a deflection on a strong shot by captain Phil Lant. Reading dominated the early stages and took a 2-0 lead through Brayden Lissington. Cambridge started to build well and got a goal back, the game increased in intensity as every ball was fiercely contested before Lant increased Reding’s lead with another well taken shot. Cambridge kept going and made it 3-2 just before the break. The intensity didn’t let up and Cambridge scored a well worked kick-in deflecting off Lant to complete his “imperfect hat-trick”. Cambridge continued to press, hitting the post twice and missing a number of chances. With the minutes rapidly falling away, it was left to seventeen year old Noah Joyner to score from an improbable angle, near the corner of the pitch, putting Reading in prime position to qualify in second place in group A.

ProFutsal Dev 3-7 360 Talent Academy

An entertaining match between two young sides that saw plenty of really nice movement from both sets of players.  360 Talent have impressed everybody at the tournament and are still in contention since their win here ensures a three way shoot-out for second place next week, where they face Reading. They’ll need to beat Reading by four goals to have chance of pipping them to the finals, but interestingly any kind of victory could open the door for Cambridge who play bottom team Brunel next week.

ProFutsal Blue 15-0 Brunel Pro

What is there to say? Brunel devastated by the top quality and experienced ProFutsal team – who didn’t let up and kept hammering away.

London Futsal League

Old Boys 4-3 Dronken Piraten

Old Boys pulled off an epic comeback in this match after trailing at one point by 3-1. Old Boys saw plenty of the ball in the first half, but it was the pirates who got the goals with some excellent counterattacking on display. Old Boys hit the woodwork several times and saw many more efforts saved by the keeper. But Old Boys never gave up and goals from Slater, Cullimore, Bejti, and an outrageous 30m lob by Richardson saw them clinch the game in the dying moments.

Los Benjamines 5-3 Modo Leyenda

Erick Jurado’s team go marching on. Los Benjamines strated with a high intensity and maintained it throughout. Rain disrupted the flow of this match – the first inclement weather in four consecutive Sundays was bound to happen at some point – and certain areas of the court became sifficult to keep a footing. Modo Leyenda were close to drawing level on a number of occasions but opposition keeper Luis was excellent and stopped everything that came his way in the second half. Four goals for Erick, and following other results Los Benjamines will be tipped as the hot favourites.

Newham Reserves 2-3 InterGen

Newham 2 Anderson Velez 3. Another excellent display by the InterGen man leads them to the semi-finals. Newham were much improved especially in defence than in previous weeks, and former club captain Joaquin scored in his first futsal match in almost three years, but Cristian was immense in goal for InterGen and Newham couldn’t find the goal to make it level and take it further. Can InterGen challenge Los Benjamines for the title?

West London 5-4 LDN Movements

LDN Movements had been devastating in the group stage, topping group B by a distance and putting all their opponents to the sword. West London were the opposite, losing every match in group A. So no-one predicted this outcome. LDN Movements were missing Zaid, who had scored 12 goals in the previous three matches, but West London were much better and four goals for Osama saw them blow Movements away, and they weren’t able to recover. This completed a clean sweep for group A teams, winning defeating all their group B opponents to make the play-offs of this competition all repeats of group fixtures.

Royals futsal festival (continued)

Last week we reported on the men’s section of the festival but it was the women’s section that opened the futsal festival, taking place on the Saturday morning. Three futsal clubs competed with the hosts Reading Royals entering two teams (red and white) who will compete in the NFS Women’s Super Series next season alongside Bedford Futsal and Rushmoor Ladies from Hampshire. All teams took this opportunity to develop and implement their knowledge and skillset from training into a game environment alongside receiving invaluable match minutes.

All three clubs came away from the festival feeling positive, with excellent skills and game understanding shown across all players. With an emphasis on wide participation it gave teams a platform across all ages and ability levels to challenge one another and enjoy playing competitive futsal again. With positive feedback received by all clubs, there will almost certainly be similar events taking place in the near future.

The youth part of the festival immediately followed the women on the Saturday afternoon. Four futsal clubs and five football clubs made up a total of 17 teams across four age groups – U7/8s, U9/10s, U11/12s and U13/14s. For many of the children involved, this was their first experience of playing futsal and for some, their first time of being part of a team.

With the emphasis of the festival being on “futsal being the winner” (rather than having a tournament set-up), this was a great introduction to the children’s futsal experience, as well as many of the parents and families who had come to watch. The spirit with which the youth festival was played was wonderful to see and, in spite of the natural differences of abilities between players and teams, the fun and enjoyment had by so many was evident throughout.

Having spoken to children, parents and coaches during and after the festival, there is no doubt there is an appetite to do it all again! Across the entire festival 11 clubs participated entering 25 teams and involving over 200 players. Well done to everyone involved!

Cambridgeshire Futsal Youth Festival

Saturday 24th April 2021 saw the first Cambridgeshire Futsal Youth Festival organised by Cambridge Futsal Club and City of Peterborough Futsal Club. These monthly futsal festivals are designed to encourage youth players and teams to return to sport in a safe environment. It has been a difficult season for youth futsal players and we hope these festivals will be a fantastic experience.

The festival welcomed Black Panthers FC, City of Peterborough Futsal Boys, City of Peterborough Futsal Girls, and x2 teams from Cambridge Futsal Club at U9/10. Followed by Black Panthers FC, St Ives Futsal Club, Cambridge Futsal Club, and City of Peterborough Futsal Club at U11/12. Approximately 90 children took part across the age groups.

The day was an amazing success and it looked like all the players had an amazing time. Unfortunately, parents weren’t allowed in the hall to watch their kids playing, but it was live streamed so they could watch the games. Having cameras in the hall and a live PA system added to the atmosphere, and we saw some fantastic celebrations following goals. With nearly 1000 views of the live stream already it just shows how many family members would love to watch their kids playing again.

These festivals are all about the players, winning and losing does not factor. Players who show stand out performances are selected for team of the week. We hope towards the end of the season to get these selected players to play each other for an exhibition game. Here is the team of the week from the first festival.

To see the goals from the under 9/10’s go to click here

The festivals will be available for U7/8, U9/10, U11/12 and U13/14 teams, and open to both boys and girls teams. Follow the event on twitter @cambsfutsal_y and subscribe to their YouTube Channel. We will continue to round up all the action from around the country every weekend – if you’d like your event to feature please get in touch with us at [email protected]

Additional reporting by Play Futsal London (Instagram, Facebook)