Futsal and Small-Sided

So you’d like to play some Futsal, or small-sided football? Eleven-a-side is a crucial format of the game but we're also aware that football participation is changing.

Recent years have seen a significant growth in the numbers of people playing small-sided football and Futsal. Their popularity is a reaction to changing work and leisure patterns and a move towards ‘pay and play’ football. There is a wide variety of choice in Essex as we're well covered with a number of quality providers. Below is a selection who affiliate their competitions with us, meaning they should be using registered referees and their discipline is dealt with at the County Office.

Futsal is a quick and dynamic and places high demands on fitness, mostly played indoors using hockey-sized goals and a size four ball with reduced bounce. The pitch features touchlines and players can venture anywhere, including the penalty areas, as well as allowing play over head height. The absence of rebound boards and slight amendments in the laws favour skilful, creative play rather than the typically full-blooded English style. Players are often placed in tight, pressure situations, challenging their technique.

Essex, as one of the nation’s small-sided ‘Focus Counties’, is keen to increase participation in these formats of the game. Could you be our next local hero? Why not find out and contacting one of your local centres to find out what these games have to offer? Take a look and see which suits you best...

Futsal (Adults)

Newham Mayor’s Futsal League: This league has been running for five years and usually lasts for six months, playing one game per evening apart from during cup competitions when it might be two. Each year the league keeps expanding and there are now two leagues which are always happy to take on new teams. The winners of League One will have the opportunity to qualify for entry into the FA Futsal Cup while the winners and runners-up of League One will also participate in the UK National Futsal Cup and the York Invitation Cup.

The winners and runners-up of League Two will gain promotion to League One. For the last three years, member club Genesis have qualified for the FA Futsal Cup in Sheffield and they also participate in the FA Regional Futsal League South. A number of Genesis players have had the opportunity to represent the England Futsal Team. Another Newham team, Kemetic RBGs, recently won the UK National Futsal Cup at Brunel University.

Contact? Darren Watson, (020) 3373 3305 or getactive@newham.gov.uk
When? Wednesday nights from 7:15 to 10:30pm (new Second Division every Thursday from 7:00 to 10:00pm)
Where? Newham Leisure Centre, 281 Prince Regent Lane, Plaistow, London, E13 8SD
How Much? £100 per team per season (all inclusive)

The College at Braintree Adult Futsal League: This is open to open-age clubs, with the entries limited to eight teams. One game per team takes place every Thursday evening up to the final play-off night.

Contact? Steven Bartlett, (01206) 814136 or steven.bartlett@colchester.ac.uk
When? Tuesdays at 7:10pm, 7:45pm or 8:20pm
Where? Church Lane, Braintree, CM7 5SN
How Much? £15 per team, per week

Futsal (Youths)

Southend United Futsal Academy: We need ten players aged 16-18 to join our growing Futsal Academy here for a September start. Training is twice a week (weekdays) at David Lloyd – with a UEFA ‘B’ level coach. Leagues games (FLT Futsal League - South-East Division) every fortnight and friendly games in-between. Study for a BTEC Level 3 in Sport alongside this over two years. Please call Danny Heath on (01702) 341351 or E-Mail d.heath@southendunited-cet.co.uk.

Braintree Futsal Sessions (Boys and Girls): Each session will run for an hour with a pre-match warm-up using Futsal skills, followed by a game to develop technique and skills. Sessions will be run under the supervision of FA registered UEFA Level 3 Coach, Paul Bilecki.

Contact? Paul Bilecki, (07773) 376087 or paulcdc@gmail.com
When? Monday evenings from 5:00 to 6:00pm for 5-7-year-olds and 6:00 to 7:00pm for 8-11-year-olds
Where? Notley High School, Notley Road, Braintree, CM7 1WY
How Much? £5

Chelmsford Futsal Sessions: FA Cup star Ben Smith plans to build on the success of recent Futsal sessions in Braintree when he coaches two one-hour sessions each week for the 6-9 and 10-14 age groups in the Sports Hall. Smith played for Crawley Town against Manchester United at Old Trafford recently and sees Futsal as an excellent way for young players to develop their technique and skills.

Contact? Paul Bilecki, (07773) 376087 or paulcdc@gmail.com
When? Wednesday evenings from 5:00 to 6:00pm for 5-7-year-olds and 6:00 to 7:00pm for 8-11-year-olds
Where? Sandon School, Molrams Lane, Chelmsford, CM2 7AQ
How Much? £5

Newham Mayor’s Youth Futsal League: Secondary schools and Essex football clubs are being invited to enter teams into this ground-breaking league free of charge as the region celebrates the launch of its first ever locally-based competition for under 16s. The new season, which will be run by a combination of the London Borough of Newham, Lambeth Council and the Essex County FA, will kick-off in February with matches due to take place every week.

Contact? Darren Watson, (020) 3373 3305 or getactive@newham.gov.uk
When? Thursdays from 6:30pm to 9:30pm
Where? Lister Community School, St Mary's Road, London, E13 9AE
How Much? Free

The College at Braintree Youth Futsal League: This is open to Under 16s and 15s clubs, with the entries limited to eight teams. One game per team takes place every Thursday evening up to the final play-off night.

Contact? Steven Bartlett, (01206) 814136 or steven.bartlett@colchester.ac.uk
When? Thursdays at 7:10pm, 7:45pm or 8:20pm
Where? Church Lane, Braintree, CM7 5SN
How Much? £15 per team, per week

Witham Futsal Sessions: Following successful centres elsewhere, Futsal has now come to Witham!

Contact? Paul Bilecki, (07773) 376087 or paulcdc@gmail.com
When? Friday evenings from 4:45 to 5:45pm for 5-7-year-olds and 5:45 to 6:45pm for 8-11-year-olds
Where? Maltings Academy, Spinks Lane, Witham, CM8 1EP
How Much? £5

Small-Sided Football

Champion Soccer (www.championsoccer.co.uk): A largely south Essex operation, Champion Soccer stage leagues on Mondays and Wednesdays in Basildon plus Mondays at Canvey Island and Tuesdays at Billericay. At Stanford-le-Hope there’s a regular Tuesday league and they also cater separately for men and veterans on Thursdays. Champion Soccer’s success is down to good quality organisation, professionalism, expertise and a friendly approach, as well as dedicated members of staff who look after you on a one-to-one basis. They appoint only FA qualified match officials, guaranteeing teams the highest standards of refereeing and discipline.

Football Mundial (www.footballmundial.com): Most days of the week are covered by Football Mundial in the north of the County. In Colchester it’s Mondays to Thursdays, Harlow have leagues on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays and there is a Braintree competition on Mondays. They have been running leagues since 1996, playing a part in the expansion of the small-sided formats over those years. With over 250 seasonal leagues running nationwide, and over 25,000 players, Football Mundial are proud of this fact and they look to give sides a common bond whilst improving team spirit. All their matches are FA refereed, with footballs and bibs provided, plus their league tables, fixtures and results are updated online.

Futuresoccer (www.futuresoccer.co.uk): Futuresoccer are based in Chelmsford and they run leagues of varying standards on Mondays through to Thursdays. They provide ample car parking, showers and changing rooms their leagues are professionally managed so all you have to do is turn up, play and enjoy. Each league season lasts 18 weeks, followed by a one-week break before the start of the next season, with a full promotion and relegation system in place, and fantastic prizes available to the league winners, top goal scorers and players of the year.

Goals Soccer Centres (www.goalsfootball.co.uk): Goals have bases in Dagenham and Chingford (and throughout the UK) and they provide for both five-a-side and seven-a-side teams. Both sites have leagues on Sundays through to Thursdays, with specialist men’s and youth divisions. They have quality facilities at great venues where there is ample space to relax either side of games and the team administration is made very easy by the organisers. All Goals sites have received FA Small-Sided Football Accreditation for 2012.

Premier Fives (www.footballfives.co.uk): Premier Fives stage leagues all over Essex, largely on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. They cater for teams in Chafford Hundred, Grays, Harlow, Saffron Walden, Tiptree, Witham. Premier Fives have been organising five-a-side leagues for over ten years and their staff have experience of all aspects of the game such as playing, coaching, refereeing and administrating. All their competitions are run for enjoyment and they cater for varied levels of ability. All equipment is provided so you just turn up and play.

Pitch Invasion (www.pitch-invasion.com): Pitch Invasion organise most of their leagues in Colchester, namely on Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, but they also have a Monday league in Brentwood. Their fast-moving mini-seasons see teams locked in promotion or relegation battles almost from the outset in 40-minute games. All abilities are welcomed and unlimited player registrations can be completed online, with rolling substitutions. All leagues are run by dedicated event coordinators, referees and staff to ensure everything runs smoothly.

PlayFootball (www.playfootball.net): From their base in Southend-on-Sea, PlayFootball organise both five-a-side and seven-a-side leagues on Mondays to Wednesdays, and just seven-a-side on Mondays to Thursdays. Their five, six and seven-a-side leagues fit into four categories - Adults, Students, Masters (Veterans) and Juniors. The leagues are competitive, with end-of-season promotions and relegations, and there is a presentation night at the end of the season with medals and trophies. PlayFootball’s professionally organised competitions feature FA qualified referees. They also offer free tournaments for junior clubs looking to raise funds, as well as team presentation days.

Powerleague (www.powerleague.co.uk): The majority of Powerleague’s five-a-side and seven-a-side competitions are staged at Fairlop from Sundays to Thursdays. In Newham, you can also play on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday nights. Rated as the “ultimate test” for any five or seven-a-side team, Powerleagues feature promotion, relegation, trophies and prizes and most centres have the very latest fifth generation pitches. Their referees are qualified and most centres offer free parking, quality changing and shower facilities and a licensed bar.

Soccer Sixes (www.soccersixes.net): Soccer Sixes have small-sided leagues across the County. They have three in Basildon on Sundays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays plus three others in Chelmsford on Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. In Great Dunmow you can play on Mondays and Wednesdays, while it’s Sundays and Thursdays in Southend. They also run smaller operations in Benfleet, Thurrock and Witham on Mondays, Billericay on Sundays and Brentwood on Thursdays. There are no joining fees and no deposits and every league is provided with high quality bibs and footballs, referees and top quality Astroturf pitches.

Total Football Mania (www.totalfootballmania.co.uk): This is an up-and-coming six-a-side league established in 2011. They present quality trophies, at a very good price per week, with leagues at Chigwell on Sundays (5:00-7:00pm) and Mondays (7:30-9:30pm). Demand is also increasing for more leagues. It’s fun, friendly and competitive football. There are two divisions, with promotions, relegations and personalised engraved trophies for divisional winners. Only FA-qualified referees are appointed.

6-a-Side.co.uk (www.6-a-side.co.uk): 6-a-Side.co.uk operate predominantly in the south of the County, as well as Monday, Wednesday and Sunday leagues in Brentwood. Basildon has leagues every day from Monday to Thursday, as well as Sundays, while there are competitions in Southend on Mondays, Wednesdays and Sundays. In Laindon it’s Wednesdays and there is an additional Monday league at Stanford-le-Hope. They claim to be one of the leading and most affordable companies in Essex and London who provide small-sided football.

Teams Wanted for Men’s Seven-a-Side League: Havering Health & Sports Development Team, who run a men’s 7v7 league at Brittons Academy in Rainham, require new sides. The ten fully-affiliated divisions take place on Monday evenings from 7:00-9:30pm throughout the year, overseen by qualified referees. Entry is £210 and there are no other costs. Contact Karen Heilbrunn via E-Mail at karen.heilbrunn@havering.gov.uk or phone (01708) 431742.

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