Great futnet weekend

The weekend of 10 and 11 March was rich in futnet events in various countries: 2nd edition of futnet league started in the Basque Country, coaching course was held in England, Northern Ireland League continued with 6th round in Belfast and referees hopefuls had their session in Turkey. Let’s have a closer look at these events all of which have a great significance in the development of futnet in new countries.

Futnet is still a very young sport in Spain, but in the Basque Country, especially thanks to the great job of Juanjo Bernal, the president of Basque Futnet Association (AVAFUT), it is beginning to establish its presence. To learn about the achievements in this autonomous region in the north of Spain since the introduction of futnet, see the article published on EFTA webpage earlier this year. Among other feats, last year, they managed to organise a futnet league for the first time and this year they want to continue in their efforts. As a result, on 11 March, first round of this season was held at AVAFUT’s partner, BAKH sports centre in Vitoria. This year there are some changes to the playing format as separate competitions in various futnet disciplines are planned. The league starting in March will be played only in doubles and consist of 14 double rounds (two rounds – two matches between the same opponents – take place on the same day). There are seven teams (three men’s and four women’s) taking part in the same competition, that means that there is always one team resting on one of the match days. When the league in doubles is over, a similar competition is planned for singles and possibly also for triples. The main aim of the competitions, according to AVAFUT’s webpage, is to prepare the Basque teams for the World Championships that will take place later this year in the Czech Republic. Fingers crossed! More information at AVAFUT’s webpage www.futnet.es.

Sunday, 11 March, saw also the historically first futnet coaching course taking place in England thanks to the initiative of the representatives of English Futnet Association (EFNA), and mainly of its president Mr Jarek Dylag who does not hesitate to invest his own time, money and efforts into trying to make our sport more popular also in the birthplace of football. And it is certainly not an easy task to accomplish. The coaching course was held at George Salter College in West Bromwich (near Birmingham) under the supervision of EFTA General Secretary Ms Zuzana Vinanska and the member of EFTA Technical Committee Mr Jan Vanke (he has just recently been named the best player of 2011 in the Czech Republic).

The course offered theory and practical demonstration of, inter alia, the following: futnet rules, disciplines – single, double, triple, basic futnet skills – serving, receiving, passing, setting, attacking, main aspects of futnet training – composition of a training unit, warm-up without a ball – athletic warm-up and stretching exercises, warm-up with a ball, drills to learn and improve basic futnet skills… Matches in all disciplines were played in the final stage of the practical part. The course met with positive reactions and the partipants, appreciated being shown, for example, a proper futnet warm-up which, as they said, made them feel much better prepared for the matches than the warm-up they would do normally. The only pity is that the attendance was lower than expected (some did not come despite their participation being announced), but the English representatives are determined to carry on with these kinds of activities and make futnet work in their country. They will have a very good opportunity in the summer as one of the top teams of Czech extraligue are planning to spend their their holidays in the UK and while there, are very willing to carry out some futnet development activities. We will keep you updated!

Before August last year, futnet was an unknown phenomenon on Northern Ireland’s sports scene. Now, some eight months later, there is a regular futnet league, there has been a coaching course and thanks to the course, also various training sessions for children. All this proves that its main promoter Mr Stefan Terek is doing a great job and from what we have heard we can certainly look forward to even more futnet activities in Northern Ireland.

As said in the introduction, 6th round of Northern Ireland League was held on Sunday, 11 March. The league is a series of tournaments open to anybody and points are awarded after each round in the following way: the winner receives 12 points, 2nd team 10 points, 3rd 8 points. Teams at 4th-9th place get from 6 to 1 point. With this kind of ranking the organisers want to encourage the teams to a regular participation in the league. So far, the league has seen participation from 11 teams made up of players from various countries and after 6 rounds the Irish team of Maynooth is the top of the table with 10 points difference ahead of their fellow countrymen from Mayo. Photos from the last round

The weekend of 10 and 11 March witnessed also first UNIF Refereeing Course in Turkey. The course took place in the city of Izmit, about 100 km from Istanbul, following the praiseworthy initiative of the future Turkish Futnet Association (in the process of foundation) represented by Mr Mehmet Zeki Kutlu and Mr Omer Kaya. The head of UNIF Technical Committee Mr Vlastimil Stehlik was the main lecturer in the course which offered theoretical as well as practical bases of futnet refereeing to some 25 participants, almost half of them women.

Apart the course, Mr Stehlik discussed with the Turkish organisers the future of Turkish futnet. Turkey is an official candidate country for EFTA and UNIF membership and as such is planning to hold and take part in various futnet events and activities, such as organising a Pro Tour tournament series in various Turkish cities or sending some women and children to 3rd International Women’s and Youth Futnet Camp in the summer in the Czech Republic. Of course, they are also looking forward to this year’s World Championships. You can learn more about futnet in Turkey and the referee course in an article to be published soon on UNIF webpage.