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Haverhill Rovers Under-14s clinch futsal glory against Lowestoft

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Suffolk News recently reported on the success of Haverhill Rovers Under-14s, who sealed back-to-back titles in the Eastern Junior Alliance leagues.

And the youngsters have now shown themselves to be equally adept at futsal.

While far from being a mainstream sport at present, futsal’s popularity is growing in the United Kingdom.

Haverhill Rovers Under-14s futsal players
Haverhill Rovers Under-14s futsal players

Household names such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Neymar and Philippe Coutinho have all credited the honing of their technique to futsal, which sees two teams of five pit themselves against each other with a smaller and heavier ball to traditional 5-a-side football.

It is a fast-paced game, one that is a real examination of not only skill but also stamina.

And it is a sport Rovers’ Under-14s have seemingly taken in their stride with a 14-1 victory over their Lowestoft counterparts last time out, which sees them progress through to the Regional Futsal Finals in Norwich in mid-May.

Victory there would see the team then advance into a national competition.

Peter Betts, who is the Haverhill Community Sports Association’s facilities and football development manager, said: “We’ve done futsal now for three or four years. It’s something the FA has been promoting. It gives the youngsters a different experience and helps with their development, which can only be a positive thing.

“We’re fortunate that we’ve got a number of age groups – boys and girls – that have been playing.

“The Under-14s team have done really well. They’ve all got different attributes that make them successful. Some are technically good and some have some good physicality.

“They’ve done well in 11 versus 11 but this provides them with different challenges, which aids their learning.”