MANNING futsal player Nate Deas is off to Barcelona with the Australian under 13 futsal team in November.
A goal keeper, Nate will be away for two weeks, where the Australians will be involved in specialised coaching clinics while they will also play matches against regional sides.
Nate is the Manning River Times-Iguana Sportstar of the Week, earning a $50 open order at Iguana.
He gained selection in the national squad from the Australian championships played earlier this year in western Sydney. Nate was a member of the Manning under 13 side. Manning performed solidly, winning two, drawing one and losing three of their six games.
However, he admits he was surprised to learn he’d gained a spot in the Australian side.
“I wasn’t sure if I’d done enough (to get picked),’’ he said.
He started playing futsal about four years ago and this was his third trip to the Australian championships with a Manning team.
“I was playing soccer and a few of my mates started playing futsal,’’ he explained.
“I started with them.’’
Initially futsal was a game Nate played during the off-season. However, now it’s almost a year-long venture.
He plays in goals in both the traditional form of the game and in the five-a-side futsal format.
Futsal, Nate explains, is the more exciting of the two. The quick tempo of the game is a real attraction. Plus there’s always plenty to do.
“The field’s smaller, so you’re always in the action in futsal,’’ he explained.
“Sometimes with soccer if most of the game is up the other end of the field, there’s not much to do for a goal keeper.’’
However, he enjoys life between the sticks, especially the pressure moments, when he has to defend a penalty shot.
Nate’s been playing soccer since he was five. He initially started in the field before settling in as a goal keeper.
He’ll turn out with Cundletown in the southern league under 13 competition this season. Nate was involved with Football Mid North Coast’s Skills Acquisition Program (SAP) last year after playing his early football with Cundletown, but will return to the Jets for 2018. He is confident his side will be among the front runners for higher honours at the end of the season.
Soccer and futsal pretty well dominate his sporting life.
“I used to be in the surf life saving and swimming, but now I just concentrate on futsal and soccer,’’ he said.
With a trip to Barcelona to prepare for, Nate said he’ll be paying extra special attention to his game this season as he looks forward to hopping on the plane in November.
Nate is 13 and attends the Manning Valley Anglican College.