James Tose on an excellent first season of Futsal
Carlisle United’s Futsal and Education Scholarship programme is now well into it’s first season and, with the A and B teams forging the way at the top of north west divisions 1 and 2, we thought it was high time we sat down with Futsal team manager James Tose to find out how things have been going behind the scenes of the club’s newest course.
“I think it’s gone much better than expected,” he said. “It was a bit of a step into the unknown for us back at the start of the season because it was new to everybody.
“We kicked things off with a pre-season tournament and things went exceptionally well. That gave us a good indication that we had some decent players, and the results have shown that to be the case.”
“The key thing is that this course is not just about Futsal,” he continued. “They get two days at college each week, where they do the equivalent of three A levels, and that can give them a route into university, if that’s the way they want to go in the future.
“They also do other work based qualifications, as well as work experience with the Community Sports Trust, and that gives them an insight into what it means to go out there and earn a living.”
“I think, from an educational course point of view, they feel like there is no other course out there like it in this area,” he confirmed. “From what we hear, they feel they get a lot out of it and I think they appreciate that. They’re gaining a first class education at the same time as playing Futsal, so it’s extremely good from both perspectives.
“They’re training like professional athletes, so they’re staying fit, and the extra bonus is that they get to play against other professional clubs who are at a very high standard.”
And as with any course of this type, self discipline and respect has to play a prominent role.
“We have a rule in place which states that if they don’t complete their college work then they don’t get to play the Futsal,” he explained. “We’ve found that to be a great motivational tool.
“They have a real incentive to do well with their college work and the attitude they’ve shown to that off the pitch has been something they have taken into the games they play each week. Everything at the club is tailored towards working hard and setting high standards as much as we possibly can.
“We firmly believe that if you have a good attitude in college, at work and around the club then you will take that with you onto the pitch. We feel it’s our job to remind them of the basic life skills of being punctual, polite, respectful and courteous, because the minute they walk through the door they are representing Carlisle United Football Club. We need them to buy into and share our values.”
“On the playing side of things, it looks like we will win our divisions and we were delighted with the way we got to the quarter finals of the Soccer AM Cup,” he told us. “The A team have played 13 and won 13, which is superb. We should win North West Division 1 and we need to win one of our last two games to finish top of North West Division 2. It’s great for the lads that they’ll be champions in two leagues.
“That will take them to the national finals in June at the Birmingham International Futsal Arena (15 and 22 June) and they’ll be up against some of the best teams in the country. Reading have won that three years out of four, and we beat them in the last 16 of the Soccer AM Cup, so that tells us we can get results against these top teams if we apply ourselves on the day. It’s great for the lads because it’s our first year, so anything we get from this season will be a bonus. We’ll probably find that other teams will see us as a scalp next season because of it, so that should make things really interesting.”
“The first season has gone fantastically well for us but we’re always looking to improve,” he confirmed. “We want to see how we can look after the lads better, how we can make it even more challenging for them and how we can push things on.
“I think we’ll see things go up another gear next season anyway because we’ll have another 15 lads in the building as first year Futsal players. They’ll be fighting for positions and to make their mark, and we’ll have four teams running side by side.
“The second years will be striving to see if they can get into university and we’ll need to see how we, as a club, can help them to achieve that. I think we’ll get a real feel for where we are as a club with this Futsal programme when come to the end of our second year.
“Our first set of students will be at the end of their time and it will be interesting to see where their qualifications will take them. I suppose that will be the proof in the pudding for all of us. We’ve already heard that some of the lads want to pursue the fitness side of things and others want to go on to higher education. It’s an interesting and exciting time for us and it’s great to be able to play a part in helping these lads make a positive way in life.”
to watch a video interview with James Tose on our YouTube channel.
Click HERE to see the full two part interview on United Player.
For more information on our Futsal and Education Scholarship, click HERE