Manchester Futsal Club

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Manchester Futsal Club
Full name Manchester Futsal Club
Founded March 2006
Ground Manchester Velodrome,
Ground Capacity 3500
Co-chairmen Simon Wright & Ilya Ovechkin
Manager Frank Chiarella
League FA Futsal League - North
2014 National - 2nd

Manchester Futsal Club is an English futsal club, based in the Greater Manchester area who compete in the National FA Futsal League Northern Division. The club have participated in the division since its inception. Prior to this, the team competed in the Manchester FA's regional futsal league.

It was the first futsal club to receive the FA's Charter Standard in England.[1] The team now organise and coordinate the Manchester FA Futsal League. As well as working with the Manchester College and University of Manchester futsal teams, the club also delivers futsal specific coaching sessions in local schools, sports clubs and various community projects within the Greater Manchester area.


2006 - 2012[edit]

The club was created in March 2006, founded on a desire to produce a futsal squad that could regularly compete at the highest level, together with a commitment to introduce and accelerate the games development in surrounding schools and communities.

Upon being established the club competed in the Manchester FA Regional Futsal league from September 2006. Samuel Richardson captained the team to league success in March 2007 with the team scoring more than eighty goals in the fourteen fixtures.[2]

2007 also saw the club compete in its first tournament at the Tees Valley Futsal Cup. The team managed to win all its group and subsequent knockout games before losing in the final in extra time and finished runners up to Perth Futsal Club.

Towards the latter part of 2007 the FA created the FA Futsal League, complimenting the longer standing annual FA Futsal Cup. The team was accepted into the Northern Conference, tying in with the club being one of the very first futsal clubs in the country to be accredited at FA Charter Standard.

The club started its first game in the newly formed FA National Northern Conference with a 3-2 loss, Doug Reed eventually led the team to a second-place finish, secured by a win over Sheffield Hallamshire Futsal. Many of the club's players reached double figures, with the club's vice captain Ilya Ovechkin leading the club and northern conference in goals scored. Midway through the season the club appointed the Brazilian tactician Rodrigo Freitas in a dual club manager/coach role, with Simon Wright moving up to a general manager position.

As a second-place finish meant they qualified for the National Play-off Finals, the club faced a three-way group, matched against the Midland teams of Ipswich Wolves and Birmingham Tigers. Despite being down 4-0 in their first game, Manchester managed to finish their game with the heavily tipped Ipswich Wolves, 4-4. The second game saw Manchester face Birmingham Tigers, with the fatigue of the first game evident, the Manchester team succumbed to an 8-5 loss, which knocked the club out of the winners brackets. A depleted Ipswich Wolves team later lost in the overall play off final to Helvecia Futsal, with Manchester finishing 6th overall.

The second season in the National League saw a string of squad changes, with a number of established players leaving the club for various reasons and a number of subsequent new players coming in. The team suffered various team changes due to injuries and the time taken to bed new players to the game, into the team. They finished in third place, missing out on a play-off place by two points, a controversial 5-4 loss to Loughborough University being the most crucial result of the season. Samuel Richardson topped the club's goal scoring, with seven goals, which highlighted the main factor between the relative success of 2008's campaign contrasted with the flat 2009 season.[3]

Doug Reed and Ross Farran broke into the England F-30 squad, with Reed later moving on to represent and establish himself within the England international team. Furthermore, Reed went on to sign a one-year deal with Spanish second division team Lanzarote Tias Yaiza at the end of the season, becoming one of the very first English players to compete professionally in the country.[4] Farran became one of four winners of the Nike "Most Wanted" Accolades, the winners selected by Manchester United's Sir Alex Ferguson. He shortly became a part of the Nike Academy squad.[5]

After being invited by Gothenburg Futsal Club, the club competed in its first game on international soil. Manchester ended the tournament in third place, competing against other clubs from Sweden and Uruguay.

The 2010 campaign started off disappointingly, but under the captaincy of Anthony Haralambous, the team remained unbeaten from their opening day defeat, battling for the Northern Conference title with Sheffield throughout the season. Ultimately, the penultimate game of the season between the two clubs decided the championship, with Sheffield romping to an emphatic 6-1 victory that effectively sealed the title. Manchester remained in second place and in strong contention for a playoff spot, which they secured with a final day 3-2 victory over third-placed Tranmere Victoria.

At the national finals, despite having the majority of the play, Manchester lost their first game to an efficient Team United Birmingham, 3-2. In a closely fought second match, Manchester lost 5-4 to Spartans. Overall results placed Manchester 5th nationally. Helvecia were crowned as national champions for a third time in a row, after beating Spartans in an incredibly close final.[6]

The team also qualified and competed in the FA Futsal Cup 2010, topping their qualifying group unbeaten and in the process avenging their previous years National Finals loss to Team United Birmingham. The team were eventually knocked out in the quarter finals via a controversial "ghost goal" 1-0 loss to Northern rivals Sheffield. Helvecia were again the eventual winners of the tournament, beating rivals Spartans in an extra time final.

At the start of the year the club's top scorer Samuel Richardson was selected for the England training squad and later made his full international debut for the National team in October 2010, vs. Macedonia.

Manchester's manager and coach, Rodrigo Freitas, announced that the FA Futsal Cup would be his last in charge. In October, the club announced Periklies Antoniou as the new coach of the squad, together with the introduction of assistant coach Daniel Berdejo-del-Fresno to complete the new management line-up. Over the course of the pre-season the new management evaluated the team and the final squad for the National League 2011 was selected in November.

Manchester Velodrome is the club's current home venue

After the previous season’s achievements, the club started as strongly tipped contenders for the Northern title. The first game of the season suggested that winning that elusive title would be no guarantee as they drew at home to a strengthened Leeds team. After dropping these two points, the team went on a six-game winning streak, including a 6-4 win over Sheffield, that put the club in pole position midway through the season. Sheffield, the reigning Northern champions, again proved the club's closest rivals come the season's end and after an incredibly tight 25 minutes of action in the returning tie; Sheffield showed a final third ruthless streak that ended in a 7-2 loss for Manchester. The title was still a two horse race, but Manchester held the advantage and only needed to win their remaining fixtures to take the top spot. In the club's final game, a resilient Middlesbrough held on to spring a surprising 3-2 victory over the club, allowed Sheffield to pip the club, with a final fixtures victory over Tranmere Victoria.

For the third successive year, the club qualified for the National Finals. In their first group game, vs Helvecia, the clubs were quite evenly matched throughout large parts of the game, but Helvecia's experience and ability to make scoring opportunities count shone through and they ran out as 4-1 winners. In the second group game the team faced a Chippenham side that was threadbare in squad size. Manchester showed an extreme ruthlessness that carried ten different scorers and finished 20-1, a playoff record. Helvecia successfully defended their hold of the national championship, beating Sheffield in the Grand Final.

This left the FA Futsal Cup as the final tournament of the season for the club. In similar fashion to the club's previous manager, this would also be Periklies Antoniou final weekend as the club head coach. The team topped their group beating Team Baltic to second place due to a greater goal difference. This was helped by the 18-1 thrashing over Team Northumbria, which set the record for the largest FA Futsal Cup win in history.

After beating Passlona in the quarter finals, the team faced the FA Futsal Cup holders and National Champions, Helvecia. With the game closely poised and looking to go into extra time, Ilya Ovechkin scored a breakaway goal with minutes left and the club saw the game out, setting up a final with Team Baltic. In the final, a Stuart Cook hat trick and goals from Doug Reed and Samuel Richardson sealed a 5-2 victory in the final, confimring the club as 2011 FA Futsal Cup champions. Additionally, some of the club's players received individual awards based on their performances. Doug Reed was named player of the tournament and Daniel Haralambous the tournaments top scorer.

The campaign started with an emphatic opening day 11-1 victory over Tranmere Rovers, but then the club shortly succumbed to their biggest loss in recent years, losing 5-0 at home to Middlesbrough. The magnitude of the loss appeared to galvanise the players and from that point onwards, they remained unbeaten for the remainder of the season.

Crucial last minute goals to earn a vital win away at Sheffield and a draw away at Middlesbrough, meant the team remained in poll position for the majority of the season and they went on to claim their first National League North conference title. In the process they scored 118 goals in the 12 game campaign, whilst only conceding 27 and went on to record the leagues largest recorded victory margin, with a 27-0 massacre over Hull Futsal at the Velodrome. Samuel Richardson finished as both the club's and the league's top scorer with 30 goals.

In the first game of the National finals, the team were defeated 9-4 by Oxford Lions who managed to punish Manchester's use of playing with a flying goal keeper for the majority of the game. After Genesis beat Oxford Lions in the second group game, Manchester still had an outside chance to qualify, but they were only able to beat Genesis 7-3. Oxford Lions qualified from the group on goal difference and subsequently lost to Helvecia in the Grand Final. Samuel Richardson finished as the first English golden boot winner at the Grand Finals, with 5 goals.

This campaign was to be Daniel Berdejo-del-Fresno last with the club, as he moved on to be head coach of Sheffield and a part of the newly adjusted England national coaching set up.

At the beginning of the year Stuart Cook returned to the England national squad after a long absence out due to a knee injury and gained his return call up in a friendly match vs. France. At the end of the year he scored his first goal for his country, in a 3-2 victory away against Denmark.[7]

In the same year Ross Bond made the progression from the England development squad to the full team and later on in the year made his full international debut vs. Turkey.



Present First Team Squad[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
England GK Marcos Magalhaes
England GK Jordan Parker
England MF Stuart Cook (C)
England MF Samuel Richardson (VC)
England MF Ilya Ovechkin
England MF Ross Bond
England MF Giles Collier
England MF Paul Thompson
England MF James Nestor
England MF Jordan Edge
England MF Ben Seol
England MF Danny Stapleton
Slovakia MF Gerhard Gluchman
Slovakia MF Lubas Nagy
No. Position Player
England GK Russell Astle-Coates
Slovakia GK Marcel Mylnar
England MF Spencer Astle-Coates
England MF Abdullah Mohamed
Netherlands MF Raducio King
England MF Aiden Hilditch
England MF Ed Bryers
England MF Sean Bynoe
England MF Anthony Haralambous
England MF Paul Thompson
England MF James Nestor
Spain MF Lucas Sobrino
Spain MF Sergio Llorente
Spain MF Enric Valles

U21 Squad[edit]

At the beginning of 2012 the club created its Under 19s squad. It continues to train and recruit players, preparing them for the transition into the first team squad. The squad currently competes in the Manchester Futsal 5's League and across the country in various cup competitions and friendlies.[8]

Youth Development[edit]

FA Futsal 5's Leagues[edit]

Local teams in the Greater Manchester region compete with each other within an 8 team league competition at various venues across the region, with subsequent winners going on to have a chance to represent themselves in the FA Futsal Cup. Currently, there are two leagues running; at Belle Vue sports centre and Trafford Soccerdome.

Side Projects[edit]

Among the clubs desire to produce a nationally competitive team on the court, the club also heavily values its role in helping increase the popularity and participation of the sport.

The club has helped introduce and develop teams from the surrounding College and University infrastructures. It currently holds a development partnership with the University of Manchester Futsal team, whilst in the past it has introduced and assisted a Manchester Metropolitan University team in University competition. Similarly, it helped prepare Manchester College for its British College National Futsal Championship, which saw them win the tournament, beating Queen Mary's College in the 2009 final held at the @Futsal Centre in Swindon.[9]

Additionally, the club established itself as a prominent force in the nations futsal community, it has been involved in a large number of coaching sessions in local schools, and community projects such:

  • Street Child World Cup
  • One Game, One Community
  • Passport to Futsal

A majority of the club's home games are recorded and highlights are posted on its "MFC TV" YouTube channel.[10]

Tiger Street Football[edit]

The club embarked on a unique Far Eastern trip and competed in the ESPN Star 2011 Tiger Street Football Tournament, held in Singapore, the first of its kind to be staged in Asia, which was a hybrid of predominately street football and cage football, with a futsal ball. The club were invited by ESPN Star to be the UK’s representatives in 2011 and 2013, competing alongside the best international street football teams from Brazil, Vietnam, Singapore, Netherlands, Argentina, France, Cambodia, Australia and Thailand, as well as the best local teams at each stage. The team finished 5th in Singapore, 2nd in Malaysia, 1st in the Mongolian leg and finished 5th place overall in the Vietnam Grand Finals.

Manchester City FC - CITC Links[edit]

The club has forged close ties with Manchester City's "City in the Community", hosting a number of exhibition games between the clubs players versus ex-pro players from Manchester City and the CITC coaches to raise the profile of the game.

Events Delivered[edit]

  • Umbro International Futsal Tournament 2008 - In 2008 the Umbro International Futsal Tournament made its debut, and it consisted of eight teams from all over the nation, competing over two days. The overall winners of the tournament were Kickers Futsal Club, who comfortably beat London Brazil 6-0 in the final. Futsal Gold/Manchester Maccabi took home the plate competition, beating Ardwick Futsal 6-4 in the final, after extra time.[11]
  • Umbro International Futsal Tournament 2009 - The tournament's second year saw a bigger and more competitive tournament, including the addition of two international teams. The semi-finals of the competition were highly energized and presented a good standard of Futsal. KPP Baraberi from Slovakia advanced after a close affair against the returning champions of London-based Kickers Futsal. Norwegian team, Boenes Aires defeated the hosting Manchester Futsal Club in an equally tight game, 3-1. In the final, KPP Baraberi's ability to use the flying goalkeeper and take their chances meant they held the edge over the Norwegian team and ended up winning the final and the overall tournament 4-2. Ardwick Futsal Club took the plate home after an entertaining final against the newly formed Liverpool Futsal Club, with an 8-5 victory.[12]
  • Sports Vest - staff from the club delivered an international student futsal tournament. The tournament took place in Lloret De Mar near Barcelona as part of Sportvest 2011, where thousands of students from around the world came together to compete in a range of sports. SportsVest has a huge following as students take time out from their studies and head to the sunshine over the Easter Break and this was the first futsal competition ran at the event.
  • Railsport International Futsal Tournament - delivered by the club at the Velodrome, for railway workers from across Europe. The team from the Czech Republic ended up as the eventual winners of the tournament.

Player Records[edit]

# Name Goals
1 England Samuel Richardson 180
2 Russia Ilya Ovechkin 104
3 England Stuart Cook 73
4 England Daniel Haralambous 54
5 Netherlands Raducio King 46
6 England Ross Bond 40
7 England Paul Thompson 34
8 Mozambique Ruben Manna 31
9 England Doug Reed 27
10 England Anthony Haralambous 26
  • All statistics relate exclusively to FA National League, FA National Super League, FA National Playoff and FA Futsal Cup games from the 2008 season onwards only*

Prominent Former Players and Personnel[edit]

Name Name Name Name
Brazil Rodrigo Freitas (Coach) Cyprus Periklies Antoniou (Coach) Spain Marcos Leon (Player/Coach) England Doug Reed
England Mark Allen Brazil Adriano Tadeu de Magalhaes England Dan Haralambous Mozambique Ruben Manna
England Craig Brenan England Gordon Shepard Spain Eduardo Betancor Brazil Mozart Balan
England Martin Thompson England Jonny White Brazil Rodrigo Spreandio England Nick Hamblin
Brazil Neto Ferrarini England Rachid Bahzuri Portugal Fahid Sulemane Angola George[disambiguation needed]


External links[edit]