Current World Sport’s Interview with England Futsal Manager Peter Sturgess

Peter Sturgess England Futsal Manager

Peter Sturgess
Recently Current World Sport caught up with The England Futsal Head Coach Peter Sturgess at The Sport House. Ahead of 7 friendly fixtures between December 2012 and February 2013 beginning with Denmark away on the 06/12/12, We had a quick chat about all things Futsal.
So you are the current England Futsal Manager but what was you doing prior to taking the post? And how long have you been involved in football and futsal?
 I have worked full time for The FA for the last 7 years as a regional coach to begin with but for the last 4 years as national coach responsible for the coaching of our 5-11 year old players. When I was a regional coach I worked with the England Deaf Futsal squad taking them to the World championships in Moscow. I have been with the full England Futsal squad for the last four years.
Peter Sturgess
For the people who don’t know could you explain the difference between 5 a side football and Futsal.
 Futsal differs from our traditional 5-a-side in many ways. 5-a-side is not really played anywhere else whereas Futsal is FIFA’s only ‘officially’ endorsed small sided game holding either  World or Euro championships every two years. The game is played with a size 4 weighted ball, to discrete side lines and with players (inc GK) able to go anywhere on court.Some of the laws that separate the two games further relate to:  4 seconds only are allowed for restarting from the GK, kick ins and corners (so time wasting is reduced),
So how long is a match ? and what are some of the basic rules of the game?
Each half is 20 minutes long and the clock stops every time the ball goes out of play, roll on roll off subs, the ball cannot go back to the GK unless it has touched an opposition player or passed the half way line  and there are 5 accumulated fouls each half for each team. This means that if foul number 6 is committed it results in a 10m penalty. There are other laws that make Futsal the game that it is but these are just a few.
Peter Sturgess
Why do you think futsal in this country has taken so long to catch on? And how could the sport be promoted more?
 The game of Futsal is growing each year in popularity and many, many more players play this fast moving game. The infrastructure regarding suitable venues (the game needs to be played on a hard fast surface with 3m x 2m handball size goals) referees and coaches means that the development is linked to more than just players playing as we want to keep the integrity of the game intact. As I said 5-a-side is more of our traditional indoor game but more and more players are experiencing Futsal and really enjoying it. With this kind of positive reaction to the game the future looks very bright particularly as England has a well established National Futsal league with 3 divisions (north, Midlands and South) and a newly formed second tier this year so that now promotion and relegation is possible.
England Futsal Training Ground.The Sport House
As the England Futsal Manager where has your research taken you in terms of clubs and countries? And is there any one Futsal model/infrastructure that has really amazed you?
 To help me work effectively with the England squad I obviously study the game and the best teams (Spain, Brazil etc) however their cultures are very different and they have been playing for decades so to attempt to copy them directly would be a mistake. The squad has trained at a camp in Murcia (Spain) with one of the best teams in Spain (El Pozo) and this was a great experience.
Team Talk.
Who in your opinion is the best Futsal Manager/coach in the world? And which country/countries do you admire from a Futsal perspective?
Marcos Sorato (Brazil) is a coach I admire as are the Brazil and Spanish national teams.
Would you agree that Futsal is the key to developing better footballers in England given the higher technical requirement of the game?
 My role with the FA is advising on the coaching of our youngest players and I see Futsal as integral to the development of our young players. It must not be seen as the cure for all that is wrong with our game but it is a game that will develop certain things in our young players in an enjoyable and exciting way as they deal with a fast moving ball, limited space and the quick transitions between attack and defence.
England vs France 27/01/12

So there you have it we here at Current World Sport wish the England Futsal Team the best of luck for their upcoming friendlies. For more information on how to get involved with Futsal go to The F.A Futsal Fives site.



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The Current World Sport Team


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