Futsal Whites go down heavily to Futsalroos
It wasn't quite the shock loss Brazil vs Germany was, but the Futsal Whites 7-1 loss to their trans-Tasman rivals was a wake-up call.
The 2013 Trans-Tasman Futsal Cup wrapped up in Wellington today with a convincing win from Australia's national team the Futsalroos, following a five-day junior and youth futsal festival at the ASB Sports Centre.
New Zealand Football futsal development manager Dave Payne said it was a great celebration of the growing sport, and there were some valuable lessons for the Futsal Whites.
''We've always known Australia were a far superior team - they're ranked 24th in the world and we're 72nd. But for us to get the experience we need to play against tough opposition, Australia are the ones we need to play against. I suppose it was a rude awakening of where we're at and where we need to get to.''
Payne said it demonstrated that the team needs to be in peak physical condition and they need more games against tough teams.
The coincidental score of the final game was not lost on Payne, or the Brazilian ambassador Eduardo Gradilone, who commented on it at the prize giving.
Although with any sport there were funding shortfalls, NZ Football had to be careful not to put the whole development budget into elite players and had put a focus on investing in the junior and youth leagues, said Payne.
It was grown from 700 registered players in 2009 to nearly 50,000 this year, he said.
Trans-Tasman Futsal Cup 2013 results
Game 1: 3-5 to Futsalroos
Game 2: 6-0 to Futsalroos
Game 3: 7-1 to Futsalroos
What is futsal?
Futsal is a five-a-side version of football, played with a smaller, low-bounce ball on a basketball sized court without rebound walls or nets and usually more fast-paced than football. According to NZ Football, it produces technically excellent players and is an invaluable tool for football development.