Billed as the history makers for Northern Ireland Futsal, Stuart Jordan (14) and his teammates returned home from Wales at the weekend following a difficult inaugural Home Nations campaign. Stuart tells us in his own words about the trip:
“We arrived to Cardiff on the Thursday and by this stage we all had nerves but in a very good mood. The camp was high in spirit even though we knew it was going to be a battle with no match experience under our belts”.
“Game day. The first game against Wales, who recently played out 0-0 draw against Latvia who would be considered a strong European team in futsal. We started like any Northern Ireland team bright and with high tempo, but match sharpness kicked in and the movement slowed down. 17mins and the game is 0-0 until they scored after we hit the bar for the third time. 1minute later at it was 3-0. We did end up scoring. But the final score was 7-1 to Wales”.
“Game 2. After our first game as a futsal team we were clearly sore and mentally tired. We knew even before we arrived for the home nations England were the team above the rest. Ranked in top 50! A few pros play for England slowly it started to work for them. Eventually they ran out 16-1 winners”.
“Game 3. We kind of had in our heads this was the game that we could get something out of. We definitely started bright just like the other games but slowly it was evident that Scotland have played 10 more games than us. 8-2 was the final score”.
“Three games in a row is a lot to ask for especially with training and short recovery time in between; even more so for a team not used to playing futsal at all. But with the “Fizz” at hand to rub out any pains she definitely got the brunt of the deal”.
For now the lads take a break until the New Year. Training will resume and more games are planned in February / March time.
The first Northern Ireland Futsal Squad included:
Philip Irvine (unattached)
Adam McGeown (unattached)
John Gibson (Queen’s University)
Ciaran Donaghy (unattached)
Adam Barr (Genesis Futsal Club)
Stuart Wells (Armagh Blues)
James Gould (Loughgall)
Conor Glenholmes (Sport & Leisure)
Michael O’Hehir (Ballyoran)
Chris Donnelly (Wattcell Futsal Club)
Gerson Melicio (Loughgall)
Ernestas Verenka (Armagh City)
Stuart Jordan (Lurgan Town)
Jasir Camara (Loughgall)
Results from the first Home Nations Futsal Championship:
England 9-0 Scotland
Wales 7-1 Northern Ireland
England 16-1 Northern Ireland
Wales 5-2 Scotland
Scotland 8-2 Northern Ireland
Wales 6-2 England.
Overall winners: Wales