Mathieu Baudry dropped into the SCORE centre opposite the Matchroom Stadium last week to check on the Leyton Orient teams that are part of the exciting and blossoming futsal league; a Football League Trust initiative.
Now in its second year, the league has almost 30 clubs playing around the country and forms part of a two-year BTEC Level 3 Sport and Leisure course for young people aged 16-19. Specific training takes place twice a week alongside regular study with the league games taking place fortnightly and held at the SCORE centre, having been designated as one of only two official futsal venues in London.
The O’s have two teams registered and Mathieu was there to witness an amazing fight back from the ‘B’ squad as they recovered from being 4-1 down to beat a strong Brighton team 5-4, the winner coming with only 20 seconds left to play.
“I love playing futsal and grew up with it. In France, we also have many community programmes, like here, but rather than the traditional English 5-a-side, we play futsal which I do believe helps with technique,” said Mathieu.
He added: “I try to play in the summer and really enjoy it as a pre-season work out. Being injured is not nice and I was so tempted to go and kick a few balls just now, watching the lads play.”
Other teams included in the O’s southern area group are Southend, Ipswich, Stevenage and Crystal Palace.
Grant Osborn, the Leyton Orient coach, commented: “It’s really great that the first team players drop by and support the students. The guys are really interested to hear what the professionals have to say and it obviously inspires them as last time when Moons (David Mooney) popped in we also won!”
If you would like more information on the BTEC/Futsal scholarship, please contact course leader Alan Blackman on 0208 556 5973 or email [email protected]
Or you can attend a FREE OPEN FUTSAL TOURNAMENT/TRIAL to be held on Saturday, April 27th at 11.30am in the SCORE centre, opposite the West Stand in Oliver Road. Alan and some of his staff will be on hand to show you around the venue and deliver a short presentation on exactly what the scholarship entails as well as allowing you to play the game itself (trainers only-no boots required)!
This is a great opportunity to find out the content of the course whilst also having the chance to sign a pre-contract agreement before the rush. There will also be complimentary match tickets available for the Leyton Orient match later that afternoon when the O’s take on Oldham Athletic!
Alan said: “This is a superb opportunity to come and find out about this exciting course and enrol at the same time. There were a few disappointments last year as places were taken very quickly so I would encourage anyone curious and interested to come along for an informal chat and take part in a game!”