Players have spoken of their love for the game, their desire to see friends and teammates, their mental health wellbeing and, in some case, their ability to challenge for a UEFA Futsal Champions League nomination. Screened live across YouTube with tens of thousands of views so far, the pinnacle of this competition will be broadcast LIVE on BT Sport 1 on Sunday June 27!
After what seems like an eternity , competitive indoor futsal returned four weeks ago in England in the form of The National Futsal Series / Summer Showdown and we think it is safe to say that it has been a fantastic success!
Three games will adorn TV, laptop and mobile screens next weekend as the Summer Showdown Grand Final receives winners across three divisions: Women’s Super Series (09:30), NFS Two (11:45) and NFS One (14:30).
Women’s Super Series | 09:10 on BT Sport 1
Bolton vs. London Helvecia is not the final many had predicted with the shock semi-final result of Bolton beating Uni of Liverpool on penalties creating yet another memorable moment for the Summer Showdown
Zara Musker has been the star of the show for Bolton and with captain Marni Sidhu missing out on the semi final with a knee problem, she may be asked to repeat that next weekend. Goalkeeper Joy Lowe had a fantastic weekend, with some penalty stops to boot, but this will be a bigger test as Bolton go up against the firepower of Helvecia. Leah Embley will also need to fully recover from an ankle problem incurred last weekend if they are to trouble the Women’s Super Series favourites…
London Helvecia have moved the ball around like no other in the Women’s Super Series Summer Showdown and this may be something that Bolton have to learn to cope with as they spend lots of time watching the ball move around their half of the court.
The star studded line up will be wary of their opposition’s ability to dig deep and frustrate, but know that the key to victory lies in their own temperament and playing their own game has to be the gameplan in this one. Expect Charlotte Gurr to pull the strings and Tune, Vilas Serin and co. to cause chaos with their movement knowing they have the rock solid Nicole Pepper to sit at fix should they lose possession.
London Helvecia look all but certain winners, but things are never straight forward when Bolton come to town!
Referee One – Paul Whateley
Referee Two – Alex Haynes
Referee Three – Sayed Kadri
Timekeeper – Duncan Kings
HOW TO WATCH
NFS Two | 11:45 on BT Sport 1
Wessex vs. London Escolla is second on the billing and this one is truly deserving of a place at the Grand Finals. Wessex overcame a tough London Genesis in their semi final while London Escolla shifted gear in the second half to pull away from York in theirs.
During the Summer Showdown Wessex have shown us exactly what they are capable of and they will be looking to make another statement next weekend against Escolla. Boasting names such as Connor Millar, Jordan Matthews, Adam Barr and Charlie Philpott, many in the futsal world will instantly recognise this team and know the ability they have.
London Escolla represent something different entirely. While that may give Wessex the edge in terms of who the public will favour in this tie, that means they have the freedom of going into this one with no expectations. Where Wessex have full internationals, Escolla boast names such as Burrell, Dirkin, Do Carmo and more. It will be exciting to see just how far the young guns of Escolla, particularly those with youth international experience, can push this Wessex side on Sunday June 27!
The public consensus is all for Wessex in this one as many rank them as ‘Tier 1 quality’, but don’t be surprised if Escolla push them until the very end!
Referee One – Harvey Newstead
Referee Two – Jamie Pope
Referee Three – Andrew Thomson
Timekeeper – Will Thompson
HOW TO WATCH
NFS One | 14:30 on BT Sport 1
Pro Futsal London vs. London Helvecia is the final that everybody has wanted to see. They’ve wanted to see this game for well over a year now since COVID curtailed the 2019/20 season. The two were vying for the top spot, which was eventually awarded to Helvecia on a points per game basis.
Pro Futsal London survived a late scare in last weekend’s final group game to Bolton. They had to wait until the final quarter of the game for their rewards. Their early competition form was superb, with a commanding performance against Worcester and a strong first half against Derby. However, this was followed by a lacklustre second half against Derby and a gritty performance against Bolton.
Pro will need to ensure they are back to their best next weekend and any thoughts of the Champions League must be put on hold as they play in the game and not the moment. The quality and depth of both squads are why they are the best in the country, both being able to play with two strong quartets, but the edge that Pro do have is their time spent together as a squad and that is what needs to be harnessed during this two week break before the final.
Ward, Dickson, Kurrant, Goldstein and Sim all regulars at international level for England, Rand with youth experience at the same. However, our two key players for Pro based on current form are captain Denerson Moreira, who is arguably the best player in England at the moment, and the player that changed much of the game in their favour last week, Toluwa Sotonye who was outstanding in the second half. Pro have an uphill struggle ahead but they definitely have the players and coach to accomplish this mission.
London Helvecia come in to this Grand Final as favourites for many. Their performances over the years, this Summer Showdown included, are rarely spectacular but incredibly effective. Their last outing in the group stage was a similar story to Pro Futsal. They faced their toughest opponent so far, Loughborough Students, and they had to fight to overcome them with a narrow victory in the end, albeit their position wasn’t quite the same as a draw would have been enough for Helvecia anyway.
Helvecia have brought in names from both home and international waters for the Summer Showdown and all of Fernandez, Hugo Da Silva, Croft, Dju, Tijerin, Ribeiro and Liam Palfreeman have played their part as well as chipping in with goals. Added to the usual list of suspects in Toti, Medina, Monti and Malta, it’s clear to see why some see Helvecia as unstoppable in their search or another UEFA Champions League place.
Our pick their players are captain and talisman Raoni Medina and Vitor Hugo da Silva. Medina just knows where to be when his team need him most and that was evidenced once more as he pounced to score the winner last weekend. Hugo Da Silva has recently plied his trade at SB Braga, Portugal, and his presence on court has instantly been noticed in the Summer Showdown. Less impactful in last weekends game against The Students, but he will be the man upon which everything is built next week.
Do you go head or heart? Dare you put your money where your mouth is? Who takes the UEFA Champions League nomination? Find out on the 27th of June on BT Sport and YouTube .
Referee One – Marc Birkett
Referee Two – Peter Nurse
Referee Three – Olly Rodriguez -Ballinger
Timekeeper – Matt Bruffel