A Futsal First for the Four Nations

Robert Wheeler previews the upcoming Futsal Four Nations tournament, which will feature a number of players with East London links.

This December the first of an annual Four Nations Tournament that will see England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland compete will be held in Cardiff. The Three Lions will play rivals Scotland in the first game on the 2nd December. The competition will last three days with England taking on Northern Ireland on the 3rd and then play Wales on the 4th. This will be a real test for the players’ fitness and integrity.

England’s Chances 

One player selected to represent England in coach Mike Skubala’s side is Maximilian Kilman who plays for East London side Genesis. Kilman told Rising East: “I personally feel confident coming into this tournament especially after our last game against Germany. In that game we were more prominent going forward than previous games and collectively we were solid defensively. So this weekend will be a great opportunity for us to showcase our ability and in all be more prepared for the European qualifiers coming up.”

Asked about his ambitions for the tournament Kilman added: “My personal ambition is to win all three games and that’s the same for everyone else. We all feel confident about this weekend and we are sure that a good team performance in each game will give us the results we want without any doubt.”

‘Highly competitive’

Adam Barr, the Northern Ireland captain and teammate of Kilman at Genesis is also confident heading into the tournament and told Rising East:“I feel good, Northern Ireland have only just established a futsal team so to be a part of that is really special. The squad will go in to the weekend excited and use it to develop for future international games. We have trained well over the last few months, so we are looking forward to a highly competitive weekend.”

When asked on his aims with Northern Ireland for the tournament Barr said: “I just want the squad to enjoy the weekend and put in some good performances. We are a relatively new futsal nation, so hopefully we can inspire more young players back home to take up Futsal. Personally it will be great to lead the team out as captain on Friday evening vs Wales.”

Hosting Nation

Welsh star Rico Zulkarnian, who now plays for Australian side Fitzroy FC is also looking forward to competing this December in his home country. He was extremely confident when he spoke to Rising East: “I’m honestly feeling in the best shape of my life going in to these fixtures both mentally and physically. I’ve been on a fine run of form and I’m scoring a lot of goals since my move over to Melbourne. I will look to continue to take this mindset and run of form into the oncoming games. If I can carry on scoring goals and most importantly helping gain more exposure for futsal across the world and especially in the UK.

This tournament will be great for Futsal in Britain and hopefully will raise the profile of the sport in this country.