THE Australian Futsal Association (AFA) national titles kick off next week in Sydney, starting with juniors on Monday.
Manning Futsal is sending three junior teams to compete at venues in Penrith and Windsor. The 11 boys, coached by Troy Modderno will compete in the first match immediately following the opening ceremony in Penrith. Six courts will be in action for the 11 boys which is split into two pools. Manning will compete against Queensland Metro, Far North Queensland, Victoria City, NSW North, Central Coast and Auckland. The top four teams in each pool will then progress to the quarter finals to play off for a semi-final position. The 14 boys coached by Michael Gilligan and the 13 girls coached by Kate Connolly will compete at Windsor against teams from across Australia. Both will play eight games each in three days.
The tournament is fast paced and tests fitness in the hot conditions. Manning teams have been training for several months at Saxby's Stadium, particularly in the middle of the day to prepare themselves for the heat.
Manning has competed at the nationals for a number of years now to gain valuable experience and to get the opportunity for future development. Each year AFA selectors identify players and offers are extended to tour overseas with Australian junior squads.
In 2013 Rosie White and Tyler Potts (12 girls) travelled to Spain, Jason Little (13 boys) toured in the UK while Bailey Webber and Evan Martin toured with 10 boys to the USA.