A popular variance of football, futsal originated from the South Americas in the 1930s, after improvisation by a Uruguayan teacher who designed this game to be played on a basketball court. Featuring a smaller pitch, futsal is also commonly described as five-a-side football in layman terms. The ball used in futsal is also smaller, harder, and less bounce. When playing with international rules, the court is limited only to the lines, whereas in local context, walls and boards are often used as a rebounding platform for ball manipulation. In a BBC article, futsal primarily emphasizes on improvisation, creativity and technique, as shown by freestyle football legend Sean Garnier. Many professional footballing architects and maestros such as Neymar, Ronaldinho, and Xavi cited futsal as their gateway to improving footwork as well as creativity.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo also credited his success to futsal. “During my childhood in Portugal, all we played was futsal,” he said. “The small playing area helped me improve my close control, and whenever I played futsal I felt free. If it wasn’t for futsal, I wouldn’t be the player I am today.”
The basics and techniques required are similar to football – agility, defending, passing and shooting ability. However, due to the space constraints of a futsal pitch, a separate set of skills are needed to excel in this sport. Futsal demands maximum and precise control of the ball, or the ability to navigate yourself and the ball through tight spaces. Stamina and explosiveness is also a core criteria as length of the pitch is only between 25-45 metres, a lot of short burst up and down the flanks are involved. Off the ball movement and positioning are key components to unlocking the opponent’s defense.
In futsal, there are only five players, hence the tactics work very similar to basketball; zone and man-marking for defense. Each team has one goalkeeper and four outfield players, and it is preferred to have at least one main defensive anchor and one dedicated attacker to maximize pitch control and pressure.
Now that we have some of the basics covered here are some places to get your sweat on.
Possibly the most popular among all, The Cage has been around for the longest and has said to be the most popular due to their court consistency and quality turf. There are six five-a-side pitches at the Kallang location and three five-a-side pitches at the Turf City location, all of them fully sheltered from the sun and rain.
Image by The Cage
The Cage Kallang is at 38 Jln Benaan Kapal, Singapore 399635
The Cage @ Turf City is at 220 Turf Club Road, Singapore 288001
Stadio @ Amara
Stadio@Amara is Singapore and South East Asia’s very first rooftop futsal pitch. Seated at the heart of the financial district’s Tanjong Pagar’s Amara Hotel, the former tennis court has been transformed to a CBD hot-spot after office hours for footballing junkies. The pitch is also managed by former Singapore international V. Sundramoorthy.
Image by Stadio Futsal
Stadio@Amara is at Amara Singapore, 165 Tanjong Pagar Rd, Singapore 088539
Also known as Home United’s Youth Football Academy, HYFA is home to ten futsal pitches and two full footballing fields. The 2.5 hectare facility is decked out with sports training equipment and performance centers to groom local talent.
Image by ASTPL
HYFA is at 8 Mattar Rd, Singapore 387719
The Premier Pitch
The Premier Pitch is operated and owned by two former professional footballers, Faruk Alkaff and Paul Masefield. After the pair hung up their boots, they found out that Singapore lacked quality football training facilities. Both of them came together to form this company and after more than a decade, the organization have 22 pitches spanning four centers island-wide.
Image by Premier Pitch
The Premier Pitch has three locations:
Premier Pitch @ Turf City 200 Turf Club Road Singapore 287994
Premier Pitch @ Khalsa 49 Balestier Road Singapore 329676
Premier Pitch @ Upper Thomson 596A Upper Thomson Road Singapore 574427
For the west-siders, Golazo was opened by avid futsal players who has a clear direction of what players need and the facilities required for a comfortable albeit sweaty game. Sheltered from both the sun and rain, Golazo offers four five-a-side courts and the area is blessed with superb ventilation.
Image by Golazo LLP
Golazo is at 21 Jurong West Street 23, Singapore 648196
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