WHEN YOU’RE TOGGING out in your local Astropark this week, just think, this time next year you could be in Dubai representing Ireland at the Football Fives World Cup.
We know you all think your five-a-side team are world-beaters, but Transylvania Futsal actually have the chance to prove it against teams from 47 other countries in a tournament that is billed as the largest five-a-side competition in the world.
And they are not going there just to make up the numbers either having recently clinched the Emerald Futsal League title after what can only be described as a superb season.
Less than a week after that triumph, they emerged as champions from the F5WC Irish qualifiers, and so they get to go on the trip of a lifetime to represent Ireland.
The team, which comprises of players from Romania and Portugal, are one the best small-sided footballing units in the country, and they boast some very impressive personnel, including the Emerald Futsal League Player of the Year, Emanuel Moldoveanu, and the competition’s top scorer, Cristian Stancuta.
Speaking ahead of the trip to Dubai, Transylvania Futsal coach, Adrian Tamas was optimistic about their prospects.
“We are going in good shape, having won the league title recently, and we know we can compete at a high level, as the Futsal league here in Ireland is a good standard.
“The tournament will have other teams with a Futsal background from other countries as well as normal five-a-side teams, but they will all be amateur, and it will be a really interesting couple of days.”Source: Emerald Futsal League/YouTube
The Irish qualifying stage was organised by Astropark, Astro.ie and Inter7s.com, and Aidan McDevitt from Astropark is confident this year’s Irish representatives will make a big impact in Dubai.
“This is the second year of the event, and the second year that Ireland has been involved.” He continued, “Last year Dynamo Dublin won the F5WC Irish National Finals, but failed to make an impact in Dubai.
“This year will be different, as we had a much bigger pool taking part in the competition around Ireland, and we also have more people travelling with the team, including a manager, an on-the-ground coordinator to take care of the team, and a local coordinator.
“The event is billed as the largest five-a-side tournament in the world, and is starting to get noticed, with some significant teams attending this year, which include strong teams from Germany, Spain, the South Americas, and we would suspect after the massive tournament held there recently, the USA.”
Transylvania certainly have plenty of pedigree, and the momentum they will carry with them into the competition, according to Emmet Switzer from Inter7s.com, is what could see them surprise a few in the desert.
“Transylvania are one of the best Futsal and small-sided soccer teams in Ireland, and are certainly worthy winners of the Ireland qualifiers.
“Winners of the Emerald Futsal League this year, winners of the F5WC Irish National Championships last week, and with a more than convincing 13-2 win over St Itas in the FAI Futsal Cup which leads into the Uefa Futsal Cup recently, we can see that this team is currently on fire.
“This team is tight and well managed, they take the game seriously, and most importantly for the management team at F5WC Ireland, they are a serious tournament contender that knows what tournament football is about.
“Although the standard at this years F5WC Ireland Final was phenomenal, they have the edge that we need to cause damage in Dubai, and most importantly, set the bar for next year’s finals and finalists.
“It is well organised teams like this that make other small-sided teams strive to be better performing and better prepared for the competition qualifiers next year.”
For more information on the Football Fives World Cup, and to check Transylvania Futsal’s progress when the tournament starts on Thursday, visit the F5WC webstie: http://f5wc.com/