BALLARAT has been selected to contest the 2014 National Futsal League.
The re-establishment of a national competition by Australian Futsal will see two conferences formed in the north and south of Australia.
Ballarat will contest the southern conference, which also features Melbourne, Adelaide, Western Australia and Hobart.
Specific dates are yet to be announced but the competition will kick off roughly around the start of July, with Ballarat likely to host the opening round on proposed dates of July 12-13.
A round robin style will see the five sides venture to Hobart the next week and South Australia on 9-10.
The teams will play a number of matches each round, with the respective winners to contest a finals series against the northern conference champions.
Ballarat Futsal Centre manager Corey Smith is likely to coach both the men’s and women’s sides, and says the competition offers another pathway for local players to reach elite status.
“Our players have that pathway into the state system, but the whole concept of this is that it gives them an end goal (in the national league),” Smith said.
“In terms of futsal in Australia, we’re in a better position than most with our infrastructure.
“We have one of the strongest set-ups with 48 players competing in the Ballarat premier league and another 48 in the league below –- we essentially represent country Victoria as a whole.”
Smith has a women’s squad of 16 in training, with the men’s team still in selection.
“The squad will be entirely Ballarat based at first,” Smith said.