Edition Six


For this latest blog post I’d like to write about my recent visit to a recreational Futsal Just Play session at Arena Sport Kettering, where I watched an hour of the male/mixed session and another hour of the female session.

For those who didn’t read my other Futsal-related blogs and are unfamiliar with the format, Futsal is a five-a-side indoor game where the football is slightly smaller and doesn’t bounce. The pitch and goals are slightly smaller as well, encouraging the game to be fast-paced and end-to-end. Some of the game’s greatest players - including Ronaldinho, Xavi and Lionel Messi - have hones their skills, elegance, and toolbox through the world of Futsal.

The Just Play scheme is really popular, with a whopping 400 hubs running since the initiative was launched in 2011. Sessions are run on a weekly basis for 32 weeks of the year by a Level 1 qualified coach. It gives players a platform to just turn up to a venue and play football - perfect if you’re looking to take up the sport for the first time or reignite your passion for the game. It’s also great for footballers who don’t want to commit to a competitive nine-month long season of competitive matches and training.

Fiona Gardner

Arriving at Kettering Sports Arena, I was met with a charming smile from Johnathon Driscoll, who runs the sessions on a Tuesday night. He then introduced me to the players, who were all lovely and very welcoming.

Some had only played a handful of sessions, but having spoken to them, it’s clear how beneficial an hour of Futsal a week is to them – not least for the opportunity it provides to make new friends. Some women were even talking about setting up a new team to enter into the Women’s Futsal League, which is amazing considering they’ve only played in a few sessions so far. What they said was inspirational - and I really hope something comes from it.

The Futsal itself was bags of fun, smiles, teamwork - and of course, goals, goals, goals!

What was also pleasing to see was that the players were willing to help each other if someone fell over. They would often stop the phase of play to do so - even though the group barely knows each other. That tugged a heartstring.

Overall, from watching and joining in with the session, I found it to be a great way to get fit, make new friends and have FUN! I could definitely see myself joining a session in the future.

The sessions are always run by a super-friendly people and the atmosphere is just brilliant for new and regular players.

If you’re interested in trying this exhilarating sport or want further information about the women’s or men’s Just Play session, please contact Stuart on 01604 678409 or