The Hastings-based Sussex Futsal Club has clinched the FA National Futsal Super League South Division Two title.
Sussex beat off strong competition from four London-based clubs, as well as teams from Salisbury, Braintree and Saints Foundation, the community arm of Premier League big guns Southampton FC.
We were always confident we could upset the odds and break up the London dominance within the South, and we certainly raised a few eyebrows this season.Jimmy Elford
Sussex Futsal won 13 of their 16 matches to finish three points clear of runners-up London Zappsport Futsal Club, who lost 6-5 in their final game of the season against Futsal Club Enfield last weekend.
The club still has to win two important games to gain promotion. Sussex will firstly face Zappsport - who defeated Sussex in both league fixtures this season - and if they win that Sussex will face the bottom side in Super League South, Bristol City Futsal Club.
Head coach and former England international Jimmy Elford said: “It has been a long and tough season, and some of the games could have gone either way so we rode our luck at times.
“We were always confident we could upset the odds and break up the London dominance within the South, and we certainly raised a few eyebrows this season.
“We had a core of talented locally-based players and looked to strengthen this season by scouting players from outside the area. Signing four Brighton-based Spanish players added the quality and depth needed to cope with the demands of the season.
“We have to look forward now as it is our ambition to be a Super League club and compete with the strongest teams in the country. Another ambition is to get at least one player into the England squad.
“We currently have one player with England South and two further players have been recommended to the full England national team. These are the opportunities that local young players have and we are confident at least one player will gain recognition at international level.”
The club, which has now gained community interest company status, has come so far in the past few years. It employs one full-time sports development officer and has around 15 casual team members.
Sussex Futsal have two local development centres with 200-250 players playing on a weekly basis and a third development centre launching in Brighton from May 2016.
The club is now starting to work with schools, something it is looking to develop further, especially primary schools within Hastings and the surrounding area.
Sussex Futsal would like to thank all of their players, both past and present, who have contributed to the success, as well as their sponsors.
Sussex Futsal want to hear from coaches, players, supporting roles and schools to help develop the club further in the local area, but also on a national level. For further details, contact Brandon by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Futsal is a variant of football played on a smaller field and mainly indoors. It can be considered a version of five-a-side football.
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