Education and Training

Partnership opens chance of a shot at goal of elite sport for students

Written by: Andrew Merrell | Posted 21 August 2020 7:36

Partnership opens chance of a shot at goal of elite sport for students

Despite the challenges of the pandemic new announcements just keep coming from Hartpury University - the latest another potential route to elite sport for its students. 

The university and college north of Gloucester has announced its latest partnership - with Worcester Futsal Club – which it says will provideopportunities for students to compete in the FA National Futsal Series Tier 1.   

The highest level within the sport’s league pyramid, FA National Futsal Series Tier 1 features many international players and attracts England scouts on a weekly basis.   

Worcester Futsal Club (WFC), who play in FA National Futsal Series 1, will benefit from access to Hartpury’s state-of-art training facilities through the new partnership with Hartpury.   

Furthermore, the WFC coaching team, headed up by England U19 and England U21 coach Pete Vallance, will coach and manage the Hartpury University futsal squad.   

Chris Knowles, senior football manager and Futsal manager at Hartpury, said: “‘Working with the experts at WFC will take our futsal programme to the next level and offer opportunities into the WFC side and open potential pathways into the England programme.

“As well as providing exciting opportunities for all the students at Hartpury, the new partnership is an opportunity to put our first-class facilities on the national and international stage.”   

Paul McHugh, WFC chairman, said: “We hope to offer a clear player pathway for students, providing opportunities to train and play at the highest level possible.    

“A number of our former and current players have gone on to represent their country, and I am extremely confident that this can be achievable for many committed Hartpury students and alumni moving forwards.   

“A blend of top-level coaching in alignment with world-class facilities will enable an effective environment for player development.”    

Last season, the Hartpury University futsal squad had reached the final of the Western Conference Cup Final and was on the verge of winning the Western 2B league title, before the season was cut short by the coronavirus pandemic.   

Joe Shutt, a student and member of the Hartpury University Futsal and Football Academies who is studying a BA (Hons) Sports Business Management degree, said: “The partnership with Worcester Futsal Club is a great opportunity for the squad to really excel after the great season we had last year.    

“It provides us with some exciting opportunities in terms of the National Series and potential England scouting, so we can’t wait to the season to get up and running.”   

Futsal – one of the fastest growing indoor sports – is a version of small-sided football played with five players, and it is the only version of five-a-side that is fully sanctioned and approved by FIFA and UEFA.    

Played with a size four ball with reduced bounce on a hard-court surface and to lines, it means that close control, skilful technique and quick decision-making are of key importance for players to be effective and competent at the game.   

The futsal programme at Hartpury provides more playing opportunities for students alongside the current football programme and newly-launched Hartpury University FC. 

Hartpury has been officially accredited by the Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme (TASS) for leading the way in how it supports talented athletes in education in England.