This weekend the Australian Futsal Association will take a big step in its mission to provide futsal opportunities for players across Australia, with Atletico Brisbane’s tour of East Arnhem in Northern Territory.
The Atletico women’s team make the 2400km journey from Brisbane to Nhulunbuy on Sunday, to provide a week full of futsal development for players of all ages throughout the region.
Events kick off with an exhibition match against a local select side on Sunday afternoon. The week that follows will see the squad travel to Groote Eylandt, Bickerton Island, Laynhapuy Homelands. In each town coaching clinics will be provided to the primary schools, along with cultural exchanges and other educational activities.
Troy Barrett, president of East Arnhem Soccer (incorporating futsal) said: “Having Atletico Brisbane visit the region will be a significant milestone for the game. To have a team of this calibre attend remote areas and deliver fun based clinics and engage with community members will speak volumes for the Futsal game.”
He continued “The cultural experience that the team will be privileged to be involved with will be a reward in itself. Any time spent in these remote Homelands should be treated as a once in a lifetime opportunity to be immersed in Yolngu culture. This will be an experience like no other.”
Looking to the future, Barrett said: “My aim as President is to include all of East Arnhem Land and offer pathways to an alternate sport other than the typical AFL and Basketball to youth in the region. Futsal has already got momentum in this region and we now are looking at creating pathways for our members if they wish to pursue a future in the sport.”
Locals from can look forward to a star studded Atletico squad. Current Australia captain Jaz Kent is joined by three time Australian World Cup representative Jade Banks. Another recent World Cup star, Chelsie Winchcombe, joins the squad following an impressive showing as top goalscorer in the recent trip to Chile. Completing the pool of players are Tahlia Carney, Sarah Nisbet and Rose Nisbet.
AFA’s social media channels will be covering the trip in full. Keep an eye on our Facebook page for all of the latest updates.