Ranked 40th out of the 45 teams taking part in this years competition, St Patrick's Athletic Futsal team face a tough task in qualifying through the preliminary round of the of the 8th UEFA FUTSAL Cup.
As one of 23 teams in the preliminary round, St Pats have drawn Finland as their host country and are in Group E of the pre-qualifying round which is made up of:
KMN Gorica (SLOVENIA) Ranked 24th
Golden Futsal Team Espoo (FINLAND) Ranked 31st
Saint Patricks Athletic FC (IRELAND) Ranked 40th
Scandals Futsal FC (MALTA) Ranked 43rd
The matches take place between August 9th and August 17th with only the group winners qualifying for the Main Round of the UEFA FUTSAL CUP in september.
The Slovenian team KMN Gorica were set up 14 years ago and won the league this year on a play-off after finishing third in the domestic league. The host, Golden Futsal Espoo was founded in 2002, won the finish league in 2003 & 2008 and the cup in 2005 & 2007. Most of the players are part of the national team in a country where there are over 25,000 registered futsal players. The club has four futsal teams. Even a country like Malta has four futsal divisions with over 50 teams and Scandals Bar won the play off in a league of 13 teams.
“In such circumstances our team has very competitive opposition”, said St Pats Futsal team manager Ovidiu Matiut, “but that won't stop us in our aim to win the group and qualify for the main round. We are training hard and will do our best in Finland”.
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