Futsal stars shine at Goonellabah for inaugural tournament
SOCCER talent from across Australia and the Soloman Islands was on show over the weekend at the Goonellabah Sports and Aquatic centre in the Northern Rivers inaugural Futsal Tournament.
Organiser and former professional Brazillian player Vinny Leite said eight teams from Queensland, NSW, Victoria and the Soloman Islands battled it out over three days in 24 intense and exciting games of Futsal.
Mr Leite said the inaugural tournament was held at GSAC to coincide with a training camp at Lismore involving the Soloman Islands players.
“The Soloman Islands are touring Australia in preparation for the FIFA World Cup,” he said.
“The team came to Lismore for a training camp and as they were here I decided to organise a tournament.
“Organising teams and sponsors took two months but fortunately we were able to make this happen.”
The tournament was sponsored by Alstonville Osteopathy, YSATO Marine and Bond Management Alstonville, Mr Leite said.
“The eight teams were very competitive and having teams from the Soloman Islands only lifted the calibre of the tournament,” he said.
“Its a good introduction for a lot of people on the Northern Rivers who play Futsal to show them the elite level.
“We have had good numbers of spectators coming every day to watch the games.”
Mr Leite said the Far North Coast Futsal team finished sixth, after going down to the Sunshine Coast Futsal Association 5-2 in a semi-final playoff.
“This was our first tournament and is going to be an annual event,” he said.
“Its great timing for the teams and the end of the year and the teams have already said they want to come back next year.
“Next year we are hoping to have 10 teams and run the tournament over five days.”
Teams involved included South Brisbane and Gold Coast Galaxy FC, which both compete in the Australian Futsal League, Melbourne based Carlton that play in the Nike V League.
Players from Far North Coast Futsal have the opportunity to play for the Gold Coast Galaxy who are playing in the Futsal World Cup in Florida next year.