City have joined the football revolution looking to improve the skills of the next generation of players.
The national spotlight is on creating better English footballers in the future and the club’s community department are playing their part with a new futsal scholarship scheme.
The two-year sports qualification programme offers students a BTEC diploma and full-time futsal training. They study in the morning at the ground before training at the purpose-built futsal centre near the White Rose centre in Leeds.
City have a squad of 20 split into two teams, all decent players with a minimum of four GCSE passes including English and maths. Manager Kim Farrand and two coaches oversee their progress.
Leeds, Huddersfield, Middlesbrough and the two Sheffield sides are among the clubs who run the same scheme.
Community foundation officer Ian Ormondroyd said: “It’s very similar to the club’s apprentices. They do eight hours’ education per week and the rest of the time play futsal.
“It’s a five-a-side game on an indoor court with a ball that doesn’t bounce so much. It’s what they do in countries like Spain and Brazil to improve the skills of the players.
“Futsal is going to expand a lot over the next few years. It’s the way forward because it’s all about short, sharp passes and little one-twos and getting players to have more touches of the ball.
“It’s not rocket science to see that the more you get involved, the more skilful you’re going to get.”
City are already recruiting for next September and are looking to set up a girls team as well. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01274-307564 for further details.