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Futsal gets big boost

PHILIPPINE futsal, hoping to come out from the shadows of the more popular football, got a massive boost with the appointment of legendary Dutch futsal coach Vic Hermans as the country’s technical consultant.

Increasing the popularity of futsal and to come up with a competitive national team in the future is what on Hermans’ mind.

I believe that this kind of sports can bring you medals back in the Philippines. There are no challenges. We are just starting from scratch,” said Hermans during an online press conference conducted by the Philippine Football Federation last Monday.

The decision to tap Hermans’ services was a no-brainer for the federation as the 67-year old coach been part of the improvement of the sport in the country by conducting coaching courses and inspiring young players.

With Vic’s experience with so many countries, we didn’t have any doubt. Our coaches are thirsty for this kind of professionalism. They wanted to learn more. We could see with Vic around, futsal will go a long way as he’s respected by the players and the coaches,” said PFF president Mariano “Nonong” Araneta.

The PFF has laid out a comprehensive plan in order to improve the country’s futsal program starting from the youth all the way to the seniors level, with Kevin Goco leading the charge.

There are plans for the under-18 competition. We hope that could be the springboard for the open competitions,” said Goco.

Futsal in the country is being considered as an amateur sport which is being played mostly of the younger players. It is also being considered as a training ground for players who are experiencing a lack of training facilities for football.

Futsal is a very good and effective means to develop players in the country. One of the challenging things for public schools to be involved is the availability of the fields,” said by Danny Moran, a well-known supporter of the sport through the Henry V. Moran Foundation.

Plans of including an open category for futsal competitions are in the works which may also lay foundation to a professional futsal league in the country in the future.

But before coming up with a pro tournament, futsal needs to the increase the following in the country.

“If you have a very wide selection to start of with, boys and girls, that are playing throughout the year, then the interest grows,” said Moran.

The big mistake is to have a pro league then not be able to sustain it for the long-term. We have to do it slowly,” said Goco.“ The first is to get as many kids to play the game then increase the popularity of the sport.”

Definitely, the upside is high for Philippine futsal, and Hermans, who was with The Netherlands team from 1977-89, is hoping for the sport to succeed.

I cannot wait to start. Between three and five years, for sure, you will have your national teams. We need the real preperations. I have the support that I need,” said Hermans.