OFC Ambassador and Fiji national team legend Roy Krishna was back in Fiji recently, helping promote futsal and its benefits for young football players.
He joined OFC futsal consultant Juliano Schmelling to support the delivery of OFC futsal C Licence with Fiji FA national team coach and development officer Jerry Sam.
Krishna, who has recently finished a stint in the Indian Super League with Bengaluru FC, said that futsal “helped me a lot as a footballer because it allowed me to improve my skills as our roles were both to attack and defend at the same time.”
“It helped me with my decision-making abilities, especially working in tight spaces and being creative as well as getting accurate and impactful short passes. I would say overall, it helped me with my 1v1, quick passes, defending, and ball control like an all-in-one package.”
The futsal C Licence course has been run by Schmelling and OFC course facilitator Paul Toohey for the last five years, led and overlooked by futsal staff members in each Member Association before coach assessments were done individually and online by Schmeling.
Over 30 coaches from OFC’s Member Associations have gained their C Licence in that time period.
“I remember futsal being the new craze when I was younger and a lot of fun,” said Krishna.
“It was almost like going out on a date with your mates- an absolute blast. You took an hour off to have some fun with your mates and it was the best one hour spent with them. The pace was fast, and we had to think very quickly as we had to always switch between attacking and defensive play. Any slip-up was quickly punished. What hooked me was the sheer number of touches I got on the ball, with just five of us on that small pitch.”
Krishna “definitely recommends” futsal as way for young players to hone skills and develop their game.
“It’s a great way to start or to be introduced to football because it’s more accessible than assembling a full 11-a-side squad,” he said.
“It helps you refine your skills before getting into the grand stage of a standard football field. Like a training ground where you fine-tune your abilities and then unleash them with confidence on the larger pitch as a fully-fledged footballer, said Krishna.