Event: Cardiff University hosts inaugural Wales Futsal fixture
21 December 2011
A young Wales team put in an impressive first performance in their training match on Sunday with a 6 – 3 victory over Hereford Futsal Club. With the squad meeting up for the first time at the Cardiff University Sports Training Village, a young and inexperienced Wales team put in a spirited performance. With Futsal still relatively new to Wales and the majority of the squad still having limited exposure to Futsal at an elite level, it was a very good start in what will be a steep learning curve for the squad.
The opposition for Wales Hereford Futsal club play in England’s National League and has many years of competitive experience in Futsal along with a full England International player who has competed in FIFA and UEFA international matches.
Wales started the match confidently retaining possession well under pressure from their opponents. The speed of the game was very quick early on and the players adapted well to the fast paced tempo. Both defences were strong and affective but it was Wales that retained possession better in the early exchanges to break the deadlock. Dan Hooper opened the scoring and the first Futsal goal for Wales with a sweetly left foot strike in the top corner to settle any early nerves. Wales continued to show early promise and Cardiff University student Elliot Thomas added two more extremely well taken goals. The first an excellent right foot strike and the second a spectacular left foot volley from a pre planned set piece.
Hereford were still providing a tough challenge for Wales and hit back with goals of their own to go into the half time break only one goal behind at 3 - 2. The second period kicked off and the high tempo continued with Hereford looking dangerous on the counter attack. Wales lost their shape at times and also let their good discipline slip committing a number of fouls early in the second half. This resulted in Wales soon reaching the five foul limit with any further fouls resulting in a 10 metre penalty kick for Hereford. The Wales players had to walk a fine line with over eleven minutes of the period remaining which they managed to achieve.
Demonstrating more composure and implementing the game plan more affectively, Wales further enhanced their advantage. Recent Cardiff University graduate Lloyd Jenkins scored to settle the nerves but Hereford again hit back to make it close at 4 – 3. Wales had to endure some nervy moments but defended well with goal keeper Craig Williams make some important saves to deny the visitors. Finally a free flowing attacking move from the young welsh players led to Tyler Mills being hauled down in the penalty area. Captain Eric Ramsay stepped up to smash home the resulting penalty kick with Tyrrell Webb easing the pressure for the remaining moments of the contest with a finely taken individual effort.
Head Coach Richard Gunney commented “This was a new experience for all the players and they coped extremely well with what was asked of them. It will be a steep learning curve for everyone involved in an effort to build towards International fixtures and compete in the UEFA European qualification rounds. The players have to learn and adapt quickly to the demands we will face but they showed a fantastic attitude resulting in a fine first performance”
The National Futsal Squad will hold their second training camp and fixture on March 11th 2012 before facing England on April 15th 2012 in North Wales
Wales v Hereford 18th December 2011
1 Lee Jones
2 Eric Ramsay
3 Taylor Harding
4 Danny Hooper
5 Jonny Nelson
6 Tyler Mills
7 Matt de Cae
8 Elliot Thomas
9 Tom Allen
10 Tyrrell Webbe
11 Gareth Delve
12 Craig Williams
13 Lloyd Jenkins
14 Panayiotis Haralambous