February 25, 2023 12:00 PM

2023 FUTURES Updates by Doug Reed

FUTURES Programme: The Players’ View
2023 FUTURES Updates by Doug Reed

FUTURES Programme: The Players’ View

FUTURES is a unique opportunity for player development where the best players from across United Futsal’s events are invited to spend a week in Barcelona. There they undergo a holistic and intensive programme that includes working with top futsal coaches and playing matches.

We spoke to two of the FUTURES players in Barcelona to hear their views on the various aspects of the experience. They were Shepard, a 12-year-old who plays for the Colorado Rapids as a goalkeeper, and Lily, who is 14 years old from California and plays as a universal.


Lily: “I just love futsal. It is like a combination of soccer and basketball. There is a lot of movement, and it is really fast.”

Shepard: “I got involved straight away in futsal because I wanted to try it out. It was a lot different from soccer. I had never played futsal before that. It was a lot faster and really fun because you get a lot more shots and action. Futsal definitely helps with my goalkeeping in soccer especially when the shots become powerful as you move up categories and you don’t have time to use your hands and need to use your feet which you use a lot in futsal.”


Lily: “I was really excited when I found out I was going to attend the FUTURES programme. The National Training camp was really tough so when I got picked, I was like all that hard work from the training has paid off.”

Shepard: “I was very excited when I found out I had been invited. It is a whole different experience with new coaches, in a different country and alongside some of the best players from around the world. I’ve been counting down the days since I got the invitation. It has met all my expectations.”


Lily: “The training sessions have been really good and really intense. All the coaches are very supportive and make you a better player. Their sessions have helped me improve my game.”

Shepard: “I’ve really enjoyed the sessions. I like being exposed to different players from around the world and coaches as well. It has been a very cool and fun experience. With all the best players together, the passing and shots during the training have been a lot faster than what I’m used to. I enjoy Paco’s [Sedano, ex-FC Barcelona and Spain goalkeeper] sessions. They’re always fun. There’s always something to learn that I didn’t realise I needed to learn.”


Shepard: “Playing FC Barcelona was very challenging. They play really well and really smooth. It was the most difficult futsal match I’ve faced. It was a good challenge.”


Lily: “I’ve definitely improved as a player and have learned more about the tactics.”

Shepard: “I’ve definitely seen improvements in my reactions and using the right techniques.”


Lily: “I think this experience has helped me a lot through making friends. I made so many. Every time we train together everyone is very supportive and wants the best for you.”


Lily: “It was very good to see a pro futsal game. They did a lot of ball movement. Barca was very offensive. It was lots of fun. I liked when they did a basketball play. The winger and defender would pass between each other and do a screen.”

Shepard: “In the professional games we watched I kept an eye on the goalkeepers. It inspired me. The next day at training I was trying to copy what they did.”


Lily: “I’ve been telling my friends at home that this experience is great and how it has helped my knowledge of futsal. When I get back home and have tournaments, I can help my teammates to improve because I have that knowledge now.”

Shepard: “I’m excited to apply all I’ve learnt when I get back to the US. When I go to tournaments, it will give me a big edge over the other keepers. I can also bring back things to my team at the Rapids. I want to keep creating these opportunities for myself to play at a high level. I would definitely like to be a professional futsal player one day.”


Doug Reed is a professional futsal player from England whose passion for the game has taken him across the world to report on top stories and provide insights from someone inside. Visit his website at www.dougreedfutsal.com or follow him on social media via @DougReedFutsal.

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