FC Balwyn may have made a disappointing start to its Series Futsal Victoria campaign, but the team is ready for the grueling challenge of the Series Futsal Australia Cup, starting in Perth tomorrow.
After finishing second in last season’s Victoria premiership, Balwyn suffered a first round loss to Hume FC, followed by a big defeat to Pascoe Vale FC.
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Despite a struggling start to its domestic competition, Balwyn manager Gabriel Zeballos has decided not to make any rash changes, leaving his Series Futsal Australia squad almost untouched.
The only addition to its regular team is the inclusion of Ben Montleone – the captain of FC Collingwood.
Zeballos says that managing the rigours of multiple games in three games will be the biggest challenge, but he says his team is up for the challenge.
“Ideally, we want to make the semi-finals, and then anything can happen from there,” Zeballos told SeriesFutsal.com.
“We’re not in the so-called ‘Group of Death,’ but that is something we are no worried about or even looking at.
“The challenge will be how to manage the players – we have a minimum of four games, and hopefully two more. Rest and recovery between the games will be crucial.”
Zeballos hopes that keeping his regular players, and only adding one outsider, will play into his team’s hands come the end of the Cup.
“The danger with these tournaments is that people bring in a marquee player to try and make the difference,” he said.
“We want to reward the guys who got us here in the first place, but also, because we’ve been training together and working hard, everyone is playing off the same systems and structures.
“We’ve trained and drilled it all together. Everyone is familiar with each other, unlike some of the other teams, so we hope that plays into our hands.”
The 2016 Series Futsal Australia Cup will be played over three days at the WA State Futsal Centre, in Bibra Lake, south of Fremantle, on October 7-9.
See below for the FC Balwyn team list.
1) Steve Castvan
2) Omid Abdollahi
3) Davide Iacovissi
4) Marco Sartori
5) Michele Salvi
6) Michele Giotta
7) Robert Armellini
8) Andrea Zaccone
9) Daniel Cappellaro
10) Joaquin Jimenez
11) Ben Montleone