I played for Jimmy and Maca for two years at the Fayetteville Academy, coming in at the age of 17 from England. I have been playing soccer all my life and under countless coaches, yet Jimmy and Maca will always be remembered as a special pair.
Even after 17 years of soccer, Jimmy and Maca still managed to teach me things about the game I didn’t know. When it came to playing they create an environment that as a player you have no fear to make mistakes, allowing players to demand the ball and play with freedom. This certainly developed me as a player in my years at the Academy.
I have learned many things from Jimmy and Maca, however not just on the field. They are two of the most selfless people I have met, always willing to help others, whether it be through soccer or feeding the homeless in their Operation Engage program. This is something I try to take with me today.
I am preparing to go into my Junior year at Eckerd College, preparing for another preseason with the men’s soccer team, none of which would have been possible without Jimmy and Maca.
Futsal is an exciting sport in its own right, televised and played professionally in a number of countries around the world. Why make Futsal such an important part of NC Spurs curriculum? Simple, many of the best male and female players in the world grew up playing Futsal in the early part of their development.
“Futsal will always be my first love” Ronaldo
“When I came to play normal football at 12 years old, it’s easy because I played Futsal” Ronaldhino
“I played futsal for 3 or 4 years before joining Santos. Futsal was important in helping me to develop my ball control, quick thinking and passing... also for my dribbling, balance and concentration... Futsal was very, very important, no doubt” Pele
Let's now have a look at some of the qualities that playing Futsal can develop in a young player:
1. Ball Retention – Possession is key in Futsal. Players need to be able to keep the ball using good technique and movement.
2. Quick Play – The small playing area forces quick play. This again requires good technique and movement.
3. Passing – Futsal develops quick, accurate passing – no margin for error.
4. Skillful Play – Futsal encourages skillful play, either to retain possession or to create a shooting opportunity.
5. Confined Spaces – Everything happens much quicker and there is less margin for error.
6. Tactical Awareness – Futsal is a "whole-team" game. Each player needs to be aware of their own responsibilities.
7. Skill Acquisition – The increased number of touches on the ball accelerates the learning process.
8. Movements – With and without the ball increase significantly in Futsal.