Futsal Five confident of good performanceThough the team was formally registered just ahead of the national league qualifiers in April, Futsal Five had been competing in various tournaments for the last five years mainly in eastern region of the country.
Futsal Five, the champions of the Eastern Regional Qualifiers, look to continue their best performance in the finals of the 'A' Division National Futsal League set to be held from September 18 to October 8 in Pokhara.
Registered in Sunsari, Dharan, they are not only limited to the players from Province 1 when it comes to their formation. They have players from the eastern to western parts of the country. They, however, do not have their own futsal court unlike most other teams.
Futsal Five have been preparing at the artificial turf of Kasthamandap Futsal in the Capital. For the past one week they have been preparing at the Manang Trust's futsal facility which has a mat surface.
Though the team was formally registered just ahead of the national league qualifiers in April, Futsal Five had been competing in various tournaments for the last five years mainly in eastern region of the country.
"Though we were registered a few months ago as a futsal team, we have been playing for the last five years. We have played various tournaments in Kathmandu and eastern part of the country," said the team's managing director Jeevan Ale Magar. "Though we played qualifiers from Province 1, our team has players from Kathmandu, Gorkha, Sunsari, Sindhupalchok, Dolakha, Sarlahi, Nuwakot and other districts."
They decided to participate in the event in order not to miss the first ever National Futsal League organised in the country, said Ale Magar. They got enough time for the preparations as the event was postponed twice owing to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Futsal Five have not set any specific goal but Ale Magar is confident that they will present a tough fight in the event. "We were champions in the provincial qualifiers. We have a balanced team studded with young and experienced players and two members of the squad are former national team players. We are hopeful of a good performance," said Ale Magar.
Bijay Shrestha and Saroj Tamang of Futsal Five are former national team members.
With an aim to give continuity to their futsal journey, Futsal Five are planning to set up their futsal court in the near future, according to Ale Magar. They recently signed an agreement for strategic partnership with Nepal Super League franchise Biratnagar City FC.
But Ale Magar is wary of the mat as they are used to playing in artificial turf. Even the qualifier matches were organised on artificial turf. "Most of the teams are used to playing on turf, but the finals will be played on an international standard mat. It would be obviously difficult for us to play on the mat and we also have fears about injury," said Ale Magar.
Futsal Five will open their campaign taking on Sankhamul Futsal on September 19.
The 10 teams vying in the finals will play in the round robin format. The teams finishing in the top four positions will play qualifiers and eliminators for a place in the final.
The winners of the tournament will take home Rs1 million while the runners-up will get half the amount. The best goalkeeper, fixo (defender), pivot (forward), emerging player and best coach of the tournament will receive Rs25,000 each.
All matches of the finals will be telecast on Kantipur Television and the digital platform ekantipur.com. Turnpike Events Private Limited holds the marketing promotion and management responsibility for the tournament.
Lumbini Futsal get Alpha Beta Theta as sponsor
Lumbini Futsal of Rupandehi has got Alpha Beta Theta, an IT company as their sponsor for the 'A' Division National Futsal League.
Lumbini and Alpha Beta Theta signed the agreement to the effect in the Capital on Wednesday. As per the agreement, Alpha Beta Theta will provide Lumbini with Rs400,000 as the chief sponsor. The team will play with the logo of Alpha Beta Theta in the league.
Sports kits manufacturer Li-Ning and Gyani Polytank also inked co-sponsorship deals with the Lumbini FC. Li-Ning would provide sports kits and jersey sets worth Rs200,000 for the team. Gyani Polytank, based in Butwal, will also contribute Rs150,000 to the team.