Olé Futsal Academy from London, England are carrying out their final preparations before their second appearance at the World Futsal Cup. There they will face the likes of FC Barcelona from Spain and Santos of Brazil.
The academy was formed in 2014 by Alfie Brooks, who played for Chelsea as a youth player before a serious injury led to him to become involved in coaching. Later, he discovered futsal and seeing it’s potential created the academy for players between 4-16 years old.
Brooks described the World Futsal Cup as 'a fantastic and unrivalled event'. "We are delighted to be welcomed back for the second year running. Participating in a competition involving some of the best youth teams across the world is an incredible honour. For Olé to be spoken about in the same breathe as the likes of Barcelona and Santos is a motivation within itself.”
In last year’s edition they had a tough experience playing against one of the world’s best youth systems in FC Barcelona. However, Brooks recognises the unique benefits that can only come from testing themselves against this level of opponent, both for players and the coaches.
“I learnt a lot from the likes of Barcelona and El Pozo Murcia, particularly the intensity levels both these teams play at whilst in and out of possession of the ball. The intensity level is 50%-60% higher than anything I have witnessed in England.”
He continued to discuss how worthwhile their debut at the world´s premier youth futsal championship was. “It didn’t stop there, comparing Academy Football/Futsal in England, the Spanish are far more advanced technically and especially tactically. It opened my eyes last year and gave me a sense of realisation of how good you actually need to be as a player. A majority of this success should be credited to the coaching model and coaches ability to provide accurate detail in Spain.”
Since their first experience at the event they have had a year to work on those areas that were identified as needing improvement last time around. ”The standard of the Academy continues to grow on a regular basis, I don’t think it's too unreasonable to think with the valuable experience Olé has gained that over the coming years we can compete with some of the most renowned Academies across the World.”
And there is a long term vision for the academy supported by a thorough and ambitious strategy.. “Plans are in place to hopefully take the Academy to the next level. Building a purpose built Futsal facility; 'Fingers crossed’ this is not in the too distant future, continuing to create a loyal fanbase from the bottom up and to produce players that make a professional living through either Football/Futsal are essential yet reasonable long term targets of the Academy. “
The vision in the founder’s mind that is driving the academy forward is crystal clear. “In 10 years time I’d like to be able to say we have accomplished all of the above and that there is a fully functional National League Senior Olé Futsal team.”
Rio Futsal Academy will compete in the World Futsal Cup V between December 28th and 30th after a historic campaign at the World Futsal Championships earlier in the year. This will be an even tougher test for the boys from Rio de Janeiro in Brazil.
The club is a compilation of players from various teams, many well known such as Vasco de Gama, Flamengo and Fluminense. In this upcoming competition held near Barcelona they will compete in four age categories. There they will face clubs such as FC Barcelona, fellow countrymen Santos and other teams from across the world.
However, they should have nothing to fear. At the World Futsal Championships in Orlando they claimed the title in all three categories they entered. To claim both titles in the same year would be a feat no club have achieved in the history of the game.