After a storming first gameweek, we’re back again for another huge weekend of futsal. Here’s our picks of the week in each of the three Summer Showdown divisions.
The top flight men’s futsal league in England is back. We can’t wait to see the best futsal clubs in England battle it out for the UEFA Futsal Champions League.
Our pick of the week is Bolton vs. Derby
It’s fitting that we kick off the NFS One series at St George’s Park, and to top it off we start with a derby (apologies) of sorts between two Northern members. Their history of tasty encounters goes back some years to FA Futsal Cup games and each time they’ve met the futsal world hasn’t been disappointed.
Bolton have seen much change since the COVID-enforced break with Neil Lucas stepping down from his coaching role, back-filled for the short-term by Captain Stuart Cook until a long-term replacement is found, and a number of senior players that are unavailable either for the Summer Showdown or have moved away from the area. Their recruitment and/or promotion of youth players is going to be tested to the limit during these next few weeks!
Derby have seen quite a bit of change, too, but theirs is of a different fortune. They announced this week that Chris Sewell will be their new men’s team coach to support Sam Huntingdon in his player-coach role. As if to emphasise the juxtaposition, they are boasting an army of players from which to call upon – the only problem they might have is choosing their match-day squad from the full list!
After a brilliant start to the WSS, our pick of the week for gameweek two is University of Liverpool vs. London Helvecia
Both teams enjoyed their first Summer Showdown outing last weekend as they recorded +7 and +6 goal differences, respectively. Uni of Liverpool (UoL) remain largely the same team as the one that pushed Manchester all the way back in 2019/20 whereas London Helvecia have added to their squad and possess arguably the strongest group in the country right now.
UoL will pose a different kind of task for Helvecia this weekend and you can expect a physical battle between the two that will push the coaching staff to their limit in terms of how to engage or how to circumnavigate around it. Helvecia will rely on the likes of the ever influential Emma Tune for the clever movement, tight space possession and will hope that Sasha Adamson, Nicole Pepper and Arabel Vilas Serin can make their stellar lineup count.
UoL on the other hand will hope that Charlotte Newsham is in the same ruthless form the she found herself in last weekend – Erin Slade and Emma Lysons are never far from the action and have shown over a number of games that they can chip in with goals, the question for them this weekend will be whether they can match Helvecia for depth and energy when it comes to those final minutes of each half.
There are some fantastic games in NFS Two this weekend and this meeting of London clubs is set to be a cracker! Our pick of the week is London Escolla vs. Pro Futsal London Dev
Escolla come into the game somewhat of an unknown as they are the only team from Group C yet to feature and, though we can observe the quality of the squad, it remains to be seen which players will be utilised. Many familiar names are included in said squad list, with international experience at youth level included – those that are aware of Escolla from previous will know they have a habit of being quite the entertainers, both on and off court!
The Dev team of Pro Futsal London overcame a solid Reading Royals team last weekend at UEL Sportsdock which earns them top spot in the current table and they know that a win in this fixture gets them to where they want to be. The youth of Pro are a talented bunch that are eager to show what they can do and with some of them of the scoresheet last week already (Davis, Rollason, Kaye), they are showing senior members of the club (such as Dev captain Charlie Hyman) that they are up for the challenge.