Aleida Hammond is an Art student at Loughborough University and currently working with the FA NFS marketing team. With our ambition to bring Futsal to new audiences, we asked Aleida to give her creative, unique and fresh perspective on what it’s like entering the world of Futsal. Here’s her photography and story of going to her weekend at the Walsall Campus.

According to UEFA, Futsal is “the FIFA-recognised form of small-sided indoor football (the word is a contraction of the Spanish ‘fútbol sala’). It is played between two teams who each have five players on the pitch at any one time, with rolling substitutes and a smaller ball than soccer that is harder and less bouncy.”

This is old news to Futsal heads, but as a Futsal newbie, I didn’t know a lot about the sport and came into this world with little to no experience with it. I wanted to keep an open mind.

To tell you the truth, I thought it was just like football, but indoors. I quickly learned that this was not the case. Futsal is an independent, all standing sport.

Once I got to the Walsall campus, the love for the sport was evident. During the warm-ups, you could visibly see the commitment and effort. You could see their genuine love and appreciation for the sport. The anticipation was thick in the air. The battles for the ball were fierce.

From the loud booming speaker to the mass of cameras, you could really feel the importance of the game.

The fans were amazing too. The shouts of excitement were contagious, even booing for opposing teams (all in good fun, of course). People were even banging pans in support of their teams. You could feel the sense of community. It showed the dedication of the fans to each team, as well as the sport of futsal in general.

To go to a Futsal game for one was great. But to be able to photograph it, as well as watch the matches was a brilliant experience. You’ll see from the gallery of the women’s game key moments of momentum and team spirit. The shots I got of the men’s games capture the sheer zeal and passion of their teams.

After just one day of seeing the game played, I’ve developed an esteemed respect for this sport. Futsal is certainly underrated, and not something to miss out on.