Doug Reed, co-founder of Futsal Insights, has been involved in futsal in almost every role thinkable from player to coach through to competition organiser and TV commentator. Further, these experiences have taken him around the world allowing the England international to witness futsal development globally.
With an unwavering determination and passion to see the sport grow, he is part of the duo that is organising the Futsal Insights Conference 2019 which is dedicated to futsal’s development. We speak to him about this initiative to bring a collection of leaders from the world of sport to Manchester on 2nd March to discuss how the sport can evolve.
Why did Futsal Insights decide to organise the conference?
It is clear futsal has huge potential that is not being fulfilled yet. The conference aims to contribute to rectifying that by strengthening the stakeholders in the sport. It is obvious that no sport will be developed by any one stakeholder alone, for example governing bodies or clubs, and all need to work and grow together. The speakers will bring knowledge and experience that addresses key challenges and opportunities for those involved in the sport so they can improve and more effectively carry out their activities.
What topics will be covered?
There is a wide variety of topics covered reflecting the various pressing issues those in the sport face. A central theme is about how to generate interest and revenue so we can have self-sustainable organisations. At the moment futsal is run principally by passionate volunteers and we need more professionals to complement these as a full-time position allows you to not only devote more time, but also develop the skills and experience needed to succeed. There will be something for everyone and I’m sure people will find topics that they thought going in would be less relevant for them to actually provide them with very valuable knowledge.
Why are there no coaching aspects covered?
Coaching is very important but this is already being catered for to some extent. For example, in the last few years in England we have had coach education delivered by Marcos Sorato (2012 World Cup winner), Marquinhos (Brazil Head Coach), Zego (credited with developing 4-0 system), Javier Lozano (2000 & 2004 World Cup Winner), Jorge Braz (European Champion) and Marc Carmona (ex-FC Barcelona Head Coach). That’s quite a roster!
However, worldwide there has only been two events on futsal development to our knowledge when both ourselves and Futsal Focus organised events in 2017 and, even then, both these had coaching elements. This event will have no technical coaching education although we do have a speakers on how futsal is being used in professional football and how to build an effective performance pathway.
As I said it is important to have well trained coaches but we need somewhere for these coaches to work plus having clubs that are able to hire full-time coaches will have a dramatic impact on the quality of coaching. If we generate the interest to support a professional game there are wider benefits such as attracting players with the potential of a career, funding grassroots and growing the awareness of the game.
Is there any speaker that you are particularly looking forward to?
I honestly can’t say there is anyone on the speaker line-up I’m not excited to learn from. They all have vast experience and success in their fields. I am very appreciative that they are giving their time up for futsal and this highlights they see the attractiveness of this game. This is a unrivaled opportunity for futsal to find out best practice and understand how the challenges we face have been addressed effectively instead of the inefficiency of triallng our own answers.
Who should attend the conference?
Anyone who is interested in the future of futsal and wants to be part of it. We have had inquiries from as far away as New Zealand and, as well as an international audience, we anticipate the attendance of professionals from the sport industry.
I would especially highlight the value to those working in clubs or governing bodies. This is a unique chance to access expertise that would usually be out of reach for those in futsal as many are working with some of the biggest sports organisations in the world.
The more knowledge and the more people we have involved, the quicker we will fulfill futsal’s potential. For that reason I would recommend people not only attend but encourage others to as well through spreading the word.
For more information on the conference click here. Tickets can be purchased here with early bird discounts available at time of writing.