We’re another step closer to the Grand Finals and another step closer to knowing who will be the English representative put forward for the UFEA Futsal Champions League!
Last week seen four clubs from each of the Women’ Super Series and NFS Two progress to the semi-final stage and those games will be contested across two venues this weekend. The WSS games will be played on Saturday at Wolverhampton University again, with a live stream on our YouTube channel, and the NFS Two games will take place at Loughborough University on Sunday.
Bolton vs. University of Liverpool is an encounter that is as strange as it is exciting due to the problematic situation that Bolton find themselves in. Of the original starting squad a few weeks ago, Bolton show little resemblance and will be relying on the ever-present Zara Musker, for all her futsal know-how, and the instantly-impactful Leah Embley to offer an additional threat going forward.
UoL are expected to be their usual selves – a relatively small squad that works hard and well together, spear headed by Charlotte Newsham as ever. There’s also the jewel in the crown and a potential player of the series so far in Emma Lysons. UoL love to break quickly into the space left by their opponents and that is something Bolton will need to be wary of as they face up to one of the best teams in the country.
London Helvecia vs. Cheshire is your game two of Saturday’s live stream and this could be a memorable game. Cheshire have only played once in the lead up to this and that might be a factor when it comes down to the important moments. Another team that are built based on small numbers with a tight-knit relationship, Cheshire will need to be at their very best to contain and hurt Helvecia – last weekend’s victory over Derby looked utterly convincing at 5-0, but player of the match deservedly went to goalkeeper Alice Evans who looks to be in fine form and they face a more clinical side this time around.
London Helvecia, as if needing to add any more quality, have seen Charlotte Gurr reunite with the group. Last weekend’s performance against Loughborough Students was just another example of what they are capable of as this group looks to take the national title and make history for London Helvecia. This weekend will be a different experience for them as they take on a side in Cheshire that can frustrate teams, add physicality to the game if needed and have a determination about them that means they most certainly won’t go quietly. This isn’t one to miss!
Semi Final 1
London Genesis vs. Wessex is game one on Sunday’s NFS Two billing. Wessex have put both teams they have faced to date in the series to the sword and they may fancy themselves as favourites going into this (though we’re sure they would never say!). Genesis represent their biggest task so far. Genesis’ ability to produce individuals and teams that are exciting to watch never fails and when mixed with the international line up that Wessex can boast, that is quite some cocktail. Genesis will need to have all cylinders on maximum output for this one if they are to get a result!
Semi Final 2
London Escolla vs. York is a fine way to finish the semi finals this weekend and it’s another one that is interesting in terms of the match up. Escolla are well known for their style and ability and the reviews have been rave so far this summer with no end in sight to their youthful exuberance. York have their work cut out for them on Sunday but will likely relish that opportunity and to take the scalp of one of the most prominent names in English futsal would be a lovely aside on the way to the Grand Finals.
Our pick of the week this weekend in NFS One has to be the Group A decider between Pro Futsal London vs. Bolton. Pro have been imperious form so far this summer, matched only by London Helvecia, and will need to keep that up to ensure there are no slip ups against Bolton. As things stand Pro are in the box seat and avoiding defeat is enough, but results aren’t the only thing important to them and John Tapia Owens will demand that the level remains high with their arch rival Helvecia likely to be the opposition should they make the Grand Final.
Bolton head in to this one knowing it is a free hit – Pro Futsal are expected to come out on top and the pressure remains squarely at their feet – Bolton have the self-proclaimed English GOAT™ in Stuart Cook along with Payne, Overton, Kernohan, Bulmer and more that can cause problems and they will be up for the challenge, no doubt.
A special mention also for the Loughborough Students vs. London Helvecia match that takes place just before Pro vs. Bolton – interestingly the first time that Helvecia will have played before Pro on the Summer Showdown game days.
There is a UEFA Futsal Champions League place up for grabs and it’s time to decide those groups!