Futsal is becoming an increasingly popular sport worldwide, so it comes as no surprise that the German Football Association (DFB) is looking to break fresh ground in the indoor version of the beautiful game.
In conjunction with FIFA, the DFB organised the first-ever FIFA Futsal coaching course in Germany from 29 May to 2 June at the Barsinghausen sports complex near Hanover, the home of the Lower Saxony Football Association. A total of 30 coaches from different clubs and associations participated in the event, led by FIFA Futsal instructor Benny Meurs.
"It's good that a country like Germany, with such a strong football history, is willing to invest in futsal," said Meurs, who joined world football's governing body in 2005. "One of the aims of this course is to support the DFB and we extend our thanks to them for having taken the first step," the Belgian added.
Theory and practice
The participants, who had come from all over Germany, were trained in both theoretical and practical elements of the game. The former Belgian national team coach passed on his knowledge of the multi-faceted sport, which newcomers are quickly able to adapt to. However, in order to reach the very highest levels, superb technical ability and tactical awareness are required.
"Our instructor Benny Meurs is an absolute expert, who has played and coached at the very top, both in football and futsal," said participant Janosch Emonts, co-coach of the DFB Futsal Allstars and head of the Cologne Futsal Panthers."We can only profit and learn from him."
Futsal is by no means a male-only sport, as the presence of two female coaches at the course testifies. "It's always good to learn from and be shown by other futsal coaches how to spread joy through sport," said Susanne Gotze, co-coach of the Hamburg Futsal team.
DFB wants to close the gap internationally
By hosting the coaching course, the DFB sent out another clear statement of intent with regards to futsal. After founding the DFB Futsal Allstars in 2010, coach Paul Schomann's team have steadily improved and there are already plans to keep developing.
"Futsal is becoming ever more accepted in Germany and the interest in the game is growing," said Bernd Barutta, head of amateur football at the DFB, who led a question and answer session during the course. "We wanted to give coaches from the different clubs and associations the chance to receive training. They're desperate to keep learning and to close the existing gap internationally."
The next futsal training course in Germany will take place from 1-5 October. Further information and registration forms are available from the DFB.