Karratha futsal academy to take on Aussie elite

Shannon BeattiePilbara News
The North West Heart Futsal team prepare for the junior nationals in Melbourne next month.
Camera IconThe North West Heart Futsal team prepare for the junior nationals in Melbourne next month. Credit: Pilbara News, Shannon Beattie

Karratha’s young-gun futsal team will jet over to the east coast early next year to take on some of the best teams from across the country.

The North West Heart Futsal Academy is busily going through its drills at the Leisureplex, in the lead-up to the junior nationals in Melbourne from January 4-8.

The academy will be sending 14 children to the competition with the under-10, under-12 and under-14 sides due to be topped up with athletes from F.C. Carlton Heart, the club which founding coaches Stephanie Oddo and Jess Byrne now play for.

Current academy coach Richard Shaw said the national competition is a great way for the athletes to get exposure.

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“As a coach, one thing I’m looking to achieve is results, I obviously hope the teams go over there and play well,” he said.

“But I’ve been coaching some of these kids for three years, so really I just hope they have fun.

“They’re travelling across the country to play futsal, so I want them to develop, take it all in, have fun and hopefully have some wins.”

Futsal is a version of indoor soccer which has one goalie and four players take to the field. There are no real positions with everyone rotating through defensive and offensive structures. At the beginning of the year a clinic was held and opened to all children, and from that about 20 athletes attended trials with the final NWH representative side chosen from there.

Shaw said it was an opportunity he wishes he had when he was younger.

“It’s a credit to Jess and Steph because they had the vision to put in the hard work to get this up and running, but also to keep it going now that they’re in Melbourne,” he said.

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