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Football: Welsh Premier Academies send teams to do futsal battle at Deeside

THE picture above may contain Welsh football’s next big star.

All the footballers in the photograph are academy players at Welsh Premier League clubs who are playing in a futsal tournament at Deeside Leisure Centre until the end of January.

Futsal is a form of five-a-side played in South America and Europe which is credited with giving players like Lionel Messi, Ronaldinho and both the Portuguese and Brazilian Ronaldos their much envied ball control.

After successfully hosting a tournament for Welsh Premier League clubs last season, Gap Connah’s Quay Academy coach Jay Catton organised another event this season. It is proving as much of a hit with players and coaches at three age groups – under 12s, U14s and U16s.

Richard Gunney, from the Welsh Football Trust, said: “This is the second time the clubs have tried futsal during the period of December and January and it has been a great success.

“I am extremely grateful for the support and effort Jay has put in co-ordinating the fixtures. This will develop and improve each year I am very pleased that clubs and players have taken part in the programme this winter.”

The Welsh Football Trust has announced its U16s development squad from which the Victory Shield squad will be chosen.

The Victory Shield pits Wales schoolboys against England, Scotland and Northern Ireland in a home nations tournament.

In the squad are Hawarden High School’s Keighan Jones, his schoolmates Ross Lavendar (Airbus UK Broughton) and Tom Williams (Tranmere Rovers) and St Richard Gwyn’s Ross Tate (Wrexham FC).