England Futsal fixtures set

The FA have today announced the England Futsal team’s fixture programme for the 2014-15 season, in what looks to be a busy and important year for the Three Lions.  

England are set to play three fixtures before Christmas in preparation for the UEFA Futsal Euro qualifiers in January, where the squad aspire to match and surpass their performances in the last Euros qualifying campaign in 2013 where they reached the Main Round for the first time in the country’s history.

The Three Lions kick-start their preparations with a tricky away fixture in Montenegro, where they will play a side ranked nine places higher. 

England Futsal head coach Peter Sturgess instructs his side from the sidelines.

Futsal boss Peter Sturgess takes his squad into a busy year

The sides will play two fixtures on 24 and 25 October when England will be keen to continue their recent positive momentum over the past 12 months which has seen the Lions jump an incredible 12 places in the world rankings to reach 70th spot.  

But playing Montenegro away will be a tough test for Peter Sturgess’ side, as demonstrated in two closely fought games in 2011 in Hereford where both teams won a game each.  

And Head Coach Sturgess felt that this fixture was the type of challenge that would help his team ahead of the Euros, saying: “We know that Montenegro will present us with a real stiff test, and we will go into these two matches having a healthy respect for our opponents.  

“But this kind of test will help prepare the squad mentally, physically and tactically ahead of what will be an important year for the England team.  

“It is essential that we hit the ground running this season, and this tough fixture will help ensure that our performances are at the highest level.” 

Shortly after the Montenegro games, the squad continue their preparation with their first home fixture of the season against a strong Latvian side.  

The FA are still to confirm the location of this fixture, but this double-header will take place on 7 and 8 November.  

England Futsal fixtures 2014-15

24 & 25 October 2014 – Montenegro (A)
7 & 8 November 2014 – Latvia (H)

14 & 15 December 2014 – Andorra (A)
13 – 18 January 2015 – UEFA Futsal Euros Preliminary Round

27 & 28 February 2015 – Sweden (H)

Sturgess and the squad still have nightmares about the last time they faced Latvia in Riga in 2011 during the FIFA Futsal World Cup qualifiers, a game which ended in a 7-1 defeat.

On 14 and 15 December, England travel to Andorra for their last friendly fixture prior to the Euros.  In Futsal, Andorra are a force to be reckoned having taken some notable scalps over the years and are ranked 72nd place in the world.  

England last played the Andorrans in 2010 in Loughborough and won both games convincingly; but the Andorra team has undergone a number of changes over recent years and will again be another rigorous challenge for England.

“The fixture programme and preparation that has been organised for the England squad over the autumn period will hopefully ensure that the squad are firing for January and in the best possible shape for a positive qualifying campaign at the Euros,” added Sturgess. 

“All three opponents will be incredibly tough and will present different challenges and playing styles that we will need to overcome.”

After Christmas, England head-off to the Euros in early January; the draw for which will be made in September.  

England then play host to Sweden on 27 and 28 February 2015, with The FA still to confirm the location and venue for these two matches. England know Sweden only too well, having played them last season drawing the first game and losing the second.  England will hope to be able to exact some revenge in front of a home crowd.