Three of our Futsal Scholars were invited to the England Trials in a bid to improve their skills and have the chance to try out for the England Squad.
We talked to Dylan Newton-Harris and Sam Raynor to find out what it means to them and how Futsal has improved their football skills.
Since this interview, Dylan, Sam and Dillon Tideswell have been selected for the England Squad and played their first at St George’s Park on Saturday 27 April.
How proud are you to be invited to the trials?
Dylan: “Very proud, obviously it’s a massive achievement because there’re loads of people who play Futsal and not everyone has been selected to go to the England trials so it means a lot to me.”
Sam: “To be invited to the England trials is an honour. If I were to get in it would be an even bigger honour. It’s exciting and something to look forward to.”
How did the invitation come about?
Dylan: “Ed (Burton), one of our coaches, recommended us, then Jody Caudwell, the England Coach, came to one of our training sessions. He watched us and invited us down.”
Dylan, you’ve been to the trials before, do you think you have a better chance this time?
Dylan: “Everyone will know what to expect this time. Before it was new, but now everyone knows each other, so they know other players’ abilities and that they need to step it up to get in the final selection.”
Sam: “I think it’s going to be very skill-based, but a higher level and more intense training so I’ll be able to learn more.”
How have you enjoyed your futsal experience so far at Notts?
Dylan: “I’ve loved it, I enjoy coming in everyday, playing Futsal all week. It can’t get much better than that really.
Sam: “I’ve really enjoyed my Futsal experience so far, because it’s given me a chance to learn different things through Football and Futsal and with being invited to the England Trials it’s given me the chance to push forward in my career.”
What do you believe you have learnt so far thanks to Martin C and the other coaches?
Dylan: “I’ve learnt to be independent, so when you need help, try and work it out yourself first instead of just going to them [with regard to the course work]. They’ve also been there and done it, so they can help me if I’ve got any questions [when it comes to coaching and playing].”
Sam: I’ve learnt a lot of things about training and all aspects of the sport from Martin and the coaches. I used to get a little knock or injury and just play through it but now I’ve learnt to rest and not be risky so it doesn’t do permanent damage. I was supported well through my injury and given exercises to build up the muscles in my knee and now I’m ready to play again.”
Why should other Notts fans, young footballers, take up futsal?
Dylan: “It’s a really enjoyable sport and improves your fitness, your ability and you’re representing a professional team. So it’s a really proud achievement.”
Sam: “I think Notts fans and young footballers should take up Futsal because it gives you an opportunity to achieve, not just qualifications and learn more skills in other areas, such as coaching Football and Futsal, as well as leadership.”
The Futsal Scholarship is designed to help develop aspiring footballers. What would you say to those dedicated weekend footballers out there who are worried it might interfere with them playing for their local club?
Sam: “The Futsal Scholarship doesn’t get in the way of my weekend football as I train and play midweek. If anything, it benefits me because I get an edge on fitness and skill.”
Notts County are now recruiting for the next cohort of male and female Futsal Scholars, to find out more please contact Martin Carruthers on 0115 955 7215 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.