FUTSAL’S growing reputation in Ballarat sporting circles is set to receive a boost with the introduction of the Ballarat Futsal Centre’s first premier league competition this October.
With the current weekly competition receiving much support across the men’s, women’s, mixed and junior leagues, Ballarat Futsal Centre manager Corey Smith believes the time is ripe to raise the bar yet again.
“The idea is to better our standard and to get some more exposure to help the local grass roots levels grow,” Smith said.
“I’ve noticed that the Ballarat futsal league contains a lot of good players but they are spread too thinly throughout the week’s competition.
“We’re looking to create more pathways into the elite level by condensing the Ballarat talent into six even teams.”
The eight-man teams will be comprised of Ballarat’s finest 48 futsal players who will be named on the league’s official opening night on Friday, October 11, via way of a lottery-style draft.
More than 70 hopefuls turned out for the draft trials on Thursday night, with 10 players outside of the top 48 set to be drafted as rookies to act as fill-ins throughout the season.
“Because Ballarat is very much a football orientated city, there’s always a huge interest in the national draft,” Smith said.
“We thought that replicating the excitement of being in a draft – with the players not knowing whether or not they will be drafted – would appeal to a lot of the hopefuls.”
Six established Ballarat soccer and futsal players, including Smith, will take the reins of Lucas Inter, Eureka FC, Southern Strikers, Eastern City Razorbacks, Northern Fusion and Central Scorchers for the 15-round season.
Inquiries are also being made into securing the services of several Australian national players to play one game for each team in the home and away season as a marquee attraction.
The first round of premier league is scheduled to get under way on Monday, October 21.