Funding cut to the national futsal team severely damages Lynwood SHS rising star’s dreams

Funding cut to the national futsal team severely damages Lynwood SHS rising star’s dreams

A FUNDING cut to the national futsal team has severely damaged rising star Tyler Garner’s dreams.

Garner (16) captained Australia’s youth team to a 6th-placed finish at the Junior Futsal World Championships in Florida and was named in this year’s WA State Futsal League All Stars team.

Football Federation Australia’s (FFA) decision to cut all funding to the national futsal team for the next year has left the Langford resident feeling frustrated.

“Futsal is a growing sport in Australia and we’ve taken one step forward and two giant steps back,” Garner said.

The Lynwood Senior High School student said his goal of playing for the national futsal team, the Futsalroos, had been seriously damaged by the FFA’s announcement.

“Competing in America for my country at a younger age was a great honour, but obviously you want to keep moving up and get as far as you can representing your country,” Garner said.

“It’s just not possible right now because they’ve cut all the funding, it’s quite disappointing.”

Garner believed the funding cut could seriously dent the Futsalroos, chances of qualifying for the 2020 World Cup.

“They normally do that through the 2018 Asian Championships, usually they qualify through that quite easily, but without funding they’re not going to be able to compete in those competitions and it’s going to impact their qualifying,” he said.

West Coast Futsal development manager Greg Farrell said the cuts were unsurprising.

“The pattern over a very long time, with not just the FFA but all the state football governing bodies, has been to use football as their primary source of generating some extra income by getting football players involved in futsal over the summer and putting that income back into football,” he said.

“The Futsalroos have been a figurehead and has been something they’ve said to kids, ‘get involved in futsal, this is where it could lead you,’ but they’ve actually done nothing to develop it at the grassroots.

“There’s not a development approach, there’s not the mindset that football can benefit from futsal, but also, futsal could be a stand alone and we should develop both.”

The FFA announced they would not be funding the Futsalroos for the 2017/18 financial year, although they expected to resume funding next financial year.

“This is a necessary short-term measure, taken reluctantly, and part of a much wider range of spending cuts which include staff reductions at FFA,” the FFA said in a statement.

“These spending cuts in part reflect the cyclical nature of FFA revenue and are necessary to balance the FFA’s budget while also providing an increase in funding for the Hyundai A-League clubs and the Westfield W-League.”

The funding cuts mean the team will not be able to compete in November’s AFF Futsal Championship in Vietnam or the 2018 AFC Futsal Championship.

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