Interview with Marc Forrest

International Futsal Academy Head of Development & England Futsal Centre of Excellence Coach and Loughborough United Head Coach, Marc Forrest, discusses the new 2015-2016 season which starts this weekend and gives us his thoughts on what he expects from the year ahead.

Entering your third year as a member of the coaching staff with the International Futsal Academy, why do you think the Academy is so successful at developing gifted and talented players?

Overall we have been very fortunate over the years to inherit good players from professional footballs academies, full time football league trust futsal clubs, National League clubs and other similar routes so a lot of credit must go to the organisations and teams that players join us from. The IFA Programme is a special opportunity as we are able to develop players full time over a three year period to aid their development and invest in them both as people and players to ensure they can succeed both on and off court long term which is rare. Being based at Loughborough University and Loughborough College provides high quality facilities, we have knowledgable and honest staff that deliver high quality training and players that are ambitious to better themselves.

What are your thoughts on the new changes to FA National Futsal Super League and National Futsal League re-structure?

I believe that the FA National Futsal Super Leagues and FA National Futsal Leagues Divisions will be very competitive as a result of the re-structure. It is pleasing to see the infrastructures being implemented at Clubs and testament to the people we have working hard within the sport to make them happen. I do hope more people that have not been exposed to Futsal previously will be attracted to fixtures and get to experience the sport.

As one of the youngest FA National Futsal League head coaches in the country with a squad of all English young players at Loughborough United, what are your feelings ahead of the season and the first fixture against York on Sunday?

I had a fantastic two years with Loughborough Students Futsal Club assisting Skubes (Michael Skubala) however this year brings an exciting challenge that I am very much looking forward to and I know the players feel the same. We began training on Tuesday so it is early days but the players attitudes have really pleased me since we started. The league will no doubt be highly competitive and York will be no exception on Sunday with the work Junior Roberti is doing there and them having played Super League last season. We look forward to getting the season underway and seeing what we can do.

The FA recently announced the newly re-structured England Futsal Performance Programme make-over in which you will continue in your role as a Centre of Excellence Coach. What are your thoughts on the changes and are you encouraged by the depth of talent in this country.

The progress of the England Futsal Team has been impressive over recent years, credit to the the current staff and players however it is important the next generation of senior players are nurtured to enable England to be competitive on the international stage and at the highest level long term. The make-over no doubt provides a clear pathway for the county’s most talented players and I feel very privileged to be apart of the long term strategy in what is an important and exciting time for Futsal in this country.

The first ever FA Coaching Futsal Level 3: UEFA B License course will begin on Saturday at St George’s Park that you will be attending. What impact do you believe the course will have on Futsal coaching within England and what are your expectations?

The UEFA B License is no doubt another huge step forward for Futsal in England. To maintain the rapid growth and improvement over the last few years it is important all coaches are able to evolve and improve and the UEFA B will definitely aid that. For a new coach coming into the sport long term, it is great that they now have a clear coaching route with the Level 1 and Level 2 leading into the the UEFA with the addition of the Youth Module courses which are valuable. I am looking forward to Saturday as it provides the opportunity for all coaches around the country to come together to talk and share ideas with each other and the tutors which is beneficial but rare as many coaches are busy weekdays and others having National League sides usually on the Sunday.

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