Partnership will provide students with route into elite futsal programme

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Hartpury is delighted to announce an exciting new partnership with Worcester Futsal Club that will provide opportunities for students to compete in the FA National Futsal Series Tier 1.

The highest level within the sport’s league pyramid, FA National Futsal Series Tier 1 features many international players and attracts England scouts on a weekly basis.

Worcester Futsal Club (WFC), who play in FA National Futsal Series 1, will benefit from access to Hartpury’s state-of-art training facilities through the new partnership with Hartpury.

Furthermore, the WFC coaching team, headed up by England U19 and England U21 coach Pete Vallance, will coach and manage the Hartpury University futsal squad.

Chris Knowles, Senior Football Manager and Futsal Manager at Hartpury, said: “‘Working with the experts at WFC will take our futsal programme to the next level and offer opportunities into the WFC side and open potential pathways into the England programme.

“As well as providing exciting opportunities for all the students at Hartpury, the new partnership is an opportunity to put our first-class facilities on the national and international stage.”

WFC chairman Paul McHugh said: “I am absolutely delighted that we will be working with such an elite sporting institute as Hartpury.

“We hope to offer a clear player pathway for students, providing opportunities to train and play at the highest level possible.

“A number of our former and current players have gone on to represent their country, and I am extremely confident that this can be achievable for many committed Hartpury students and alumni moving forwards.

“A blend of top-level coaching in alignment with world-class facilities will enable an effective environment for player development.”

Last season, the Hartpury University futsal squad had reached the final of the Western Conference Cup Final and was on the verge of winning the Western 2B league title, before the season was cut short by the coronavirus pandemic.

Student Joe Shutt, a member of the Hartpury University Futsal and Football Academies who is studying a BA (Hons) Sports Business Management degree, said: “The partnership with Worcester Futsal Club is a great opportunity for the squad to really excel after the great season we had last year.

“It provides us with some exciting opportunities in terms of the National Series and potential England scouting, so we can’t wait to the season to get up and running.”

Futsal – one of the fastest growing indoor sports – is a version of small-sided football played with five players, and it is the only version of five-a-side that is fully sanctioned and approved by FIFA and UEFA.

Played with a size four ball with reduced bounce on a hard court surface and to lines, it means that close control, skilful technique and quick decision-making are of key importance for players to be effective and competent at the game.

The futsal programme at Hartpury provides more playing opportunities for students alongside the current football programme and newly-launched Hartpury University FC.

Hartpury has been officially accredited by the Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme (TASS) for leading the way in how it supports talented athletes in education in England.

Hartpury tailors academic and training timetables to suit student athletes and provides access to a range of world class-facilities on campus, including a 3G artificial grass football pitch with integrated video analysis equipment and a £8.8 million Sports Academy featuring specialist technology used by Premier League football clubs.

As well as top-level coaching and exceptional sports facilities, students at Hartpury have access to performance services that can include physiotherapy, sports psychology, nutrition advice, lifestyle support, and strength and conditioning.

Its new £8.8 million Sports Academy includes a biomechanics laboratory, a rehabilitation suite featuring an anti-gravity treadmill, and a human performance laboratory with an altitude chamber and sports hall.

Picture: Sam Curwen, Worcester Futsal Club captain and Wales international player

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