This weekend sees the FA National Futsal Series return to the National Cycling Centre in Manchester. This year, helping in the running of the event, are three UCFB students who are also keen participants of the sport. Bradleigh Cregeen, Kristoffer Lie Forde and Michal Kuczynski, all BA (Hons) International Football Business students, have been putting the finishing touches to what promises to be an exciting day of futsal on Sunday 15th February. Here, we caught up with Bradleigh to find out more about the sport, Sunday’s event and how people can get involved in futsal…

How did you get involved with Manchester Futsal Club and what does your role involve there?

I saw a tweet by the Manchester FA in October asking for volunteers to help at the National Futsal Series (NFS), so I applied for that as I was looking for some event experience. I didn’t know much about the sport and really enjoyed helping at the event, and following this I was asked to be part of the events team. This role requires me to help at fixtures throughout the year, whilst I also meet up with colleagues from time to time to organise events. My main role however, is to run the Manchester Futsal Youth Leagues. 


Tell us more about the Manchester Futsal Youth League?

Myself and two other UCFB students were asked after we helped out at the NFS if we would be interested in taking over as league co-ordinators for the youth leagues. So as a team we now run the leagues that take place every Friday night. We have around 30 teams across U10, U12 and U14 age groups. As a league co-ordinator I have a range of tasks such as organising fixtures, appointing referees, liaising with coaches, managing the social media and then being there every Friday night to run the event. We took over halfway through the winter season which has just come to an end and we’re now advertising our summer league; I’ve been running a marketing campaign for it which has involved creating graphics for social media and then pushing it out to the public. It’s great that we have free rein to run the league, and the role also gives us experience in so many different areas. I would have never expected this to come from helping out at one event; I cannot thank the guys at Manchester Futsal Club (MFC) enough for giving me the opportunity to do it.

You’ve also helped to organise this weekend’s FA National Futsal Series at the National Cycling Centre. What can we expect from the event?

The National Futsal Series is the highest level of futsal in the country, so if you are a futsal fan you cannot miss it. Last time MFC hosted the NFS the standards were incredible so you can definitely expect that again. A number of England players will be representing their clubs so it will definitely be a real spectacle. Even if you know nothing about futsal, but love football, it’s worth coming down to have a look. I promise it will not disappoint!


How has the experience been in setting up this event?

We have been working on ways to improve the event from the last time we hosted it and everyone in the events team was assigned specific roles to focus on. I have mainly been focussing on pushing ticket sales as we want as many people there as possible to get behind MFC and show people just how good the sport is. I have also arranged for our winter youth league winners to be presented with their trophies presented on the day.

What will your various roles be on the day?

It is likely that I’ll have various roles on the day such as: setting up for the event, liaising with coaches and referees, helping with the ticket office, and mainly just being on hand to help with the smooth running of the event. In addition, I will also be presenting our youth league winners with their trophies during the half-time break of Manchester Futsal Club’s match.

Do you see room for the sport to grow and become more prominent?

Definitely! The sport has seen a big growth recently and with more exposure it is only going to become more and more popular. I knew nothing about the sport when I first started helping and now I think its brilliant, so it just shows that it needs more awareness to aid its growth. With the terrible weather the UK has had in recent winters, grassroots football matches have regularly been cancelled. This has only made youth futsal more popular because, with it being played indoors, it guarantees a game every week for those taking part. Increasing player participation from a younger age is only going to help the sports growth.

How can other UCFB students get involved in futsal, playing-wise or in administration?MFC are always looking for people to help with events so if you show a keen interest and get in touch, I’m sure there would be opportunities to help. In terms of playing futsal, obviously there is the UCFB team, and on the Manchester FA website there is a section that lists any teams and leagues looking for players.

Tickets for the event on Sunday 15th February are on sale now, and are priced at just £5 for students. Click here to buy.