The National Futsal Series and the National Futsal League

Estimated reading time:4 minutes, 56 seconds

Carl Wilkinson, host of the Futsal Independent podcast wrote this article for Futsal Focus.

It has been a long summer and the dust is still to settle but we are now armed with (some of) the knowledge of how our senior futsal landscape will look for 2019/20. Clubs, players and even leagues with announcement after announcement, it is almost time for the talking to stop and the playing to begin.

We learned some months back that The FA would no longer provide funding to the National Futsal League (NFL) and instead create a competition of its own, The National Futsal Series (NFS), that would help catapult the quality of the futsal ‘product’ forward in England.

Hopefully now that silly season is about to be put behind us, individuals and clubs can come together in the one thing that unites us all; our love for all things futsal in England.

The National Futsal Series launched the competition officially with a statement on TheFA.com (http://www.thefa.com/news/2019/aug/21/fa-national-futsal-series-kicks-off-in-september-210819) following weeks of planning and numerous communications with the clubs that submitted their applications. The NFL also provided their latest update on August 18th including details of how the format will work (https://nationalfutsalleague.co.uk/news/welcome-to-the-2019-20-nfl-season).

Regrettably, there have been some clubs that have withdrawn/declined entry to the competitions for various reasons, in some cases meaning that the clubs have not continued for this coming season. Fortunately, they will be offset in places where new clubs have entered and in extreme cases, it is noted that clubs have gone from nothing and then straight into Tier 2 of the NFS, showing just how much dedication has been applied in this off-season.

So how does the competitive landscape look for this coming year?

Tier One – ‘The FA National Futsal Series One’ is a national division containing eight teams, the pinnacle of English futsal with the winners granted entry into the UEFA Futsal Champions League.

Tier Two – ‘The FA National Futsal Series Two’ is made up of two regional divisions, directly below the NFS One in the same competition. NFS Two North has eight teams, NFS Two South has nine teams.

Tier Three and below – This is everything that sits outside of the NFS and is based (generally) on regional divisions. Competitions include the National Futsal League, AOC, BUCS, etc.

Women’s Super Series – This is the NFS women’s competition (on which we are awaiting confirmation of divisions/teams confirmed)

Whilst the talk of tiers has confused some, it is worth noting that Tiers One and Two are part of the same competition (NFS) but everything in Tier Three and below is outside of that and in some cases have further ‘tiers’ inside their own competitions.

Entry into NFS One / Two is strictly by application only, as has been the case this summer, and the winner of a Tier Three competition (e.g. the NFL) does not automatically have the option of joining NFS Two. Teams wishing to join have to submit their application, just as other prospective clubs do along with the relegated teams from NFS Two if they wish to re-enter.

Fixtures are yet to be announced for the NFS and we only know a handful of the teams involved from the Women’s Super Series (WSS) but we do know there won’t be a huge change as their games were already played as central venue format last year. Platt Lane Sports Complex has been secured as the central venue for the North division of the WSS, and so far we know the University of Bedfordshire will be used as the Midlands venue. The confirmation of clubs/venues in the South is still awaited, with perhaps a twist in the tail.

The league will be launched officially at St. George’s Park on September 21 prior to England’s second international friendly against Germany (following the Friday evening game on Sept 20), where we hope to find out the remaining details. Whilst we know where the NFS will kick off, we will leave this announcement for The FA or the clubs themselves at this point.

Your full list of clubs across the divisions:

National Futsal Series

NFS One

  • London Helvecia Futsal Club
  • Manchester Futsal Club
  • Kent United Futsal Club
  • Loughborough Students Futsal Club
  • Team United Birmingham
  • ProFutsal London
  • Worcester Futsal Club
  • Bolton Futsal Club

 

NFS Two North

  • Derby Futsal Club
  • Cheshire Futsal Club
  • University of Nottingham Futsal Club
  • Washington Futsal Club
  • Durham Palatinates
  • Sunderland University – Team Sunderland
  • Loughborough Students Futsal Club (Development Team)
  • Birmingham Tigers Futsal

 

NFS Two South

  • Bedford Futsal Club
  • London Genesis Futsal Club
  • Sussex Futsal Club
  • MK Mavericks Futsal Club
  • Chelsea FC Foundation Futsal
  • London Escolla
  • London Helvecia Futsal Club (Development Team)
  • Kent UTD Futsal Club (Development Team)
  • London Baku United

 

National Futsal League

Premiership North

  • Cambridge United
  • York
  • Sheffield
  • Liverpool
  • Oxford
  • Birmingham Tigers
  • Manchester
  • Tranmere Rovers
  • Premiership South
  • London Kickers
  • Sussex
  • Southend
  • Pro Futsal
  • Basingstoke
  • Enfield
  • Reading Royals
  • London International

 

Championship North

  • East Riding
  • Liverpool Dev
  • Carlisle
  • Leeds
  • Bolton
  • Grantham

 

Championship Midlands

  • Kettering
  • Northampton
  • Stamford
  • Aylesbury
  • Leicester
  • GY Galante
  • Championship South
  • TBC…
  • Haringey
  • Reading Royals Dev
  • Haringey 6
  • Newham
  • Procision Oxford

Women’s Super Series

  • Bedford
  • Kent United
  • University of Liverpool
  • Manchester Futsal Club
  • Cheshire Futsal Club
  • Derby Futsal Club
  • Loughbough
  • More TBA*

You can visit the Futsal Independent website by going to this link: https://anchor.fm/thefutsalindy

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