Futsal to fly the flag for York at BUCS Championships once again

York saved their best performances for the final qualifying round to book their passage to the BUCS Championships in Sheffield next weekend

York’s Futsal first team will again take their place alongside the elite of Britain’s sporting universities at the BUCS Championship Finals in Sheffield (10th March-13th March), after saving their best until last in a tense round of final qualifying games in Teesside this past Sunday.

With the snow forcing the postponement of the final round in York two weeks ago and with a much-changed fixture list, York’s destiny was still in their possession. York were to face Durham, who sat below them in the group and Stirling, who by some idiosyncrasy in the fixture list owing to travel arrangements and game time, they would have to face for the third time in the group stages.

York made the best possible start in early stages of the game against Durham, breaking the deadlock inside the first few minutes of play – standout player Alex Tringham expertly beating his man to find the yard of space to fire home from the left-hand side of the area. Hard work from York was undone by a cheap equaliser, arguably against the run of play to level it. Tringham tucked away his second of the match just minutes later, but the yo-yo game was to produce one last twist and Durham grabbed a snap-shot goal from close range with under two minutes to go to pull off a shock draw against the White Rose.

The draw with Durham, however, meant little in the standing of the groups. Now a point clear of Stirling with the same amount of games played, York had the leeway of draw or win to progress to the final play-off games. A loss would see them play one extra preliminary play-off game and have a harder route to the finals.

A strong and ever-improving Stirling side went into the game with the mental edge, having not lost to York on the previous four meetings stretching back to 2008. This edge appeared to pay dividends – after a sloppy start from York, Stirling managed to break through the middle to squeeze an unsighted shot into the York goal to grab the lead. If the first goal had a touch of luck about it, the Scots’ second was nothing but.

With the ball loose just outside of the area, Stirling threw a foot at it looking to put the ball in the direction of goal, only for it to take a colossal deflection and loop agonizingly into the top corner over a marooned David Ambrozejczyk in the White Rose goal. York would come close to getting back into the game – Ben Smith hitting the woodwork from close range before drawing a foul just outside the Stirling area, allowing Danny York to expertly dispatch the free-kick in off the post. But it was a case of too little too late, however, Stirling bundling in a third despite a legitimate appeal for a line-infringement in the first instance and handball in front of goal seconds before. Slipping out of the top two spots in the group, it was now two play-off games instead of one which would decide York’s BUCS campaign.

In a strange twist of fate, a walkover against MMU Cheshire due their failure to turn up saw York progress, with a tense final game against Northumbria awaiting the side. Northumbria were slight favourites going in after winning the group with two games to spare, despite a slip up to Edge Hill Seconds. Northumbria had, in spite of the strong league position, however, somehow missed out on playing Manchester and Stirling, along with York who where the strongest ranked teams at the group stage. With Captain Jack Crane calling for one last effort, his team looked to test Northumbria credentials from the first whistle.

The skippers word’s seemed to hit resonate with his team, with Adam Leadbeater pulling the strings of the game from his last man role. This dominance would give York the first breakthrough. A ball from the defence found its way to Tringham’s feet on the edge of the area – a sharp step to his right side allowed him to wind up for a typically thunderous left foot drive, the ball sailing past the hapless Northumbria stopper – Advantage York.

York’s second and decisive blow would come just minutes later and, most importantly, gave them a cushion going into the break. With the Northumbria attack broken down, a ball from Ambrozejczyk found Stopforth whose quick turn enabled York to counter. From his touch, the ball was swept to an advancing Tringham whose driven left-foot cross found Ben Smith yards out to tap home and score a goal of Arsenal-like quality.

Northumbria did have chances to get back into the game – Ambrozejczyk having to make an instinctive save to turn the ball onto the bar early in the second-half to deny them. They would get a consolation goal with a minute remaining, but it was York who closed out the game to spark jubilant scenes at the final whistle and give York a berth in the Championships.

York Seconds, however, will not be making the short trip down the M1 after losing their preliminary play-off match against Manchester University and coming up against two very experienced teams in Teesside and Edge Hill, both of whom also advanced to Sheffield. York struggled to get into the game against a veteran opposition and they were finally undone by some smart Manchester attack, going on to lose 3-0. It could have been more if it was not for the play of goalkeeper Nick Harris, whose heroics saved York on countless occasions.

A determined performance on the day should give York the confidence needed to make a sustained run in the Championships as they will look to better their runners-up spot in the Trophy competition last year. Bath University, who represented Great Britain at the European University Championships in 2009, Sheffield Hallam, who possess a full England Futsal international in Ben Mortlock and newcomers Imperial await York in group C.

Sky Sports are covering the Championships throughout the three days and the England Futsal manager Peter Sturgess will also be in attendance along with a plethora of club scouts, so the Futsallers will look to shine on the biggest stage yet again for a York team this year.


  1. 9 Mar ’10 at 11:14 am

    Martin Luther King

    The only person who will do the futsal reports is there fucking goalie! Thats journalistic neutrality for you.

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  2. 9 Mar ’10 at 11:36 am

    Kameli Ratuvou

    I think that until you can master the difference between ‘there’ and ‘their’, you should refrain from commenting on journalism.

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  3. 9 Mar ’10 at 11:58 am

    Damian Pickard

    Glad to see ‘Morph’ is still doing as well academically as he is at Futsal, having now plied his trade on doss courses at both Teesside University, and now everyone’s favourite former Poly, Sheffield Hallam.

    Of course, this is just sour grapes – the man is a quality futsaller. Should have been on the losing side in a certain 3-2 classic York Open final though…

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  4. 9 Mar ’10 at 12:41 pm

    Neutral Observer

    Would like to point out Ambrozejczyk played no part in Ben Smith’s “Arsenal-like” goal. Northumbrias attack was first broken down by Ash Daly, who then played the first pass into Stopforths feet. The rest is correct.

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  5. 9 Mar ’10 at 2:38 pm

    failed footballer

    captain crane’s barmy army!

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  6. MLK, you should find that Nouse and (dare I say Vision) very rarely cover away fixtures – I contributed this article as it is significant for sport at York. This article has gone past the editors, so I don’t see any issue. If this was a Football or Hockey club article, to take one example, written by one of “their” own, I don’t think you would have a problem with it.

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  7. 9 Mar ’10 at 5:22 pm

    Rumple Stiltskin

    A hearty well done to the failed footballers club! Who’d have thought a draw, a loss and a win would see them to the finals. Congratulations all round!

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  8. Significant for sport at York. Wow.

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  9. “In a strange twist of fate, a walkover against MMU Cheshire due their failure to turn up saw York progress”…..

    says it all, well done lads…

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  10. 9 Mar ’10 at 8:34 pm

    Jimmy Armistice

    Of course, the football club is really successful as well. It must be good fun for the 2nds, 3rds, and 4ths to play in BUCS 5 and 6 respectively. I’m sure the football firsts would also compete favourably with a full-strength Leeds Met or Bath side (as opposed to the bullshit that Leeds Met and other ‘big’ unis put out on a saturday). Unfortunately, the football club will never get to test themselves against ‘real’ sides, unlike the futsal club. I guess it depends on whether you want to be a ‘big’ fish in a small pond, or play at as high a level as possible.

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  11. Bath and Loughborough have clearly fielded their failed footballers in this too, no doubt seeing British Uni Sports as just another competition .

    Its clear who the armchair commentators who don’t have a clue about football are… It’s funny that these failed footballers are almost all involved in Uni Football team or are playing college first teams… they must be bad!!

    And to cap it all, York beat a team who finished first in the group to qualify. They must have been terrible….

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  12. “MLK, you should find that Nouse and (dare I say Vision) very rarely cover away fixtures”
    I think you’ll find that MLK may have meant the *team’s* own goalie, not the uni’s goalie, considering that the futsal club is the grammatical article in the sentence.

    It is amazing that not one other person in the university felt they wanted to write an article about Futsal, even if it meant they could later put it on their CV as a vague reference to the (normally) high stardards of Nouse. Perhaps because it tests the definitions of the term ‘fringe sport’ because nobody actually gives a shit about it. It’s kind of like the Winter Olympics – it’s obscure, boring and bobody gives a shit unless we’re winning and a win, draw and a loss, even winning by default is hardly “winning” is it?
    Futsal is where you go if you don’t qualify for Uni or College football thirds or fourths. Kind of like the film “The Ringer”.

    “I contributed this article as it is significant for sport at York” when you say “significant” I do wonder if perhaps your dictionary is broken.

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  13. 10 Mar ’10 at 12:07 pm

    Bogey man's nightmare

    Funny that bogey man, because in the 1st team there is Jack Crane (captain), Ash Daly, Alex Tringham, Dom Henney and Ben Smith, and these to most peoples knowledge do actually play Uni 2nds and above. So get your facts right before you comment.

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  14. 10 Mar ’10 at 12:26 pm

    generic rubbbish name

    the argument that the university football club will …

    “never get to test themselves against ‘real’ sides, unlike the futsal club. I guess it depends on whether you want to be a ‘big’ fish in a small pond, or play at as high a level as possible”…

    is a rubbish one… football is a much more popular sport and you have to be a much better player to get to the top level of university football than if you played futsal and wanted to play against ‘real sides’.
    this is showed in how bad england really are at futsal (recent results include heavy defeats to powerhouses CYPRUS, a hard fought draw against big timers LIBYA, routine losses to ISRAEL and IRELAND and a mauling at the hands of KAZAKHSTAN.

    so don’t come boasting about how ‘top level’ your game is lads and criticising the football club for not playing at a high enough standard.

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  15. They are all failed footballers?

    Come down to the tent for a session to see some unbelievable tekkers.

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  16. It’s the same old story at York again. People who know nothing about the sport and aren’t actually good enough to play it are so quick to shoot others down without a basic grasp of the facts. It’s funny how all those who must have achieved so much in the world of sport choose to hide behind fake names. I think that it speaks volumes for the credibility of the responses given when you call yourself Rumple Stiltskin and Bogey Man.
    It’s no small coincidence that the most successful nations in the world of football all have a grassroots scheme in place in which Futsal is an integral part. Brazilian, Portuguese and Spanish stars all attribute their success to their knowledge of the game of Futsal.
    As for the ‘failed footballers’ comment, I feel that it is a little misinformed. Many University Footballers have tried Futsal and haven’t got the tactical nous or technical ability to play at the highest level. Leeds Met, Bath, UWE Hartbury and Loughborough all field their best Football First team players because they realise the importance and benefits of Futsal in the modern game.
    So please, before you make another misinformed comment, make sure you know how to spell your own name, try to comment on the substance and content of the article and not just grammatical errors, and if you still feel the need to try and shoot down a club whose only aim is to play at the highest level then I’d be interested to know what you’ve done.

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  17. 10 Mar ’10 at 2:19 pm

    Liam Lawrence

    don’t knock futsal lads, I for one wish I had the ‘tactical nous and technical ability’ of smith and leadbeater

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  18. I’m with james Grey when he says its grassroot football, i stopped playing when i was about 10!! I’ve manned up since then!! Nice to see he’s so successful that he has time to write on posts about York University!! x

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  19. 10 Mar ’10 at 2:40 pm

    Jimmy Armistice

    Poor old ‘generic rubbish name’. Mr Grey’s bang on the money when he says that the top unis put out their top footballers to play futsal – it is a way of helping footballers improve their technique, vision, and certainly their fitness. So, in that sense, it’s a flawed argument to suggest that you have to be a better footballer to make it at the top level of uni football – the futsal club play against these footballers, it just so happens that they play them at futsal.

    Yes, England are rubbish at futsal, but players like Ben Mortlock and Curt Holmes (as two examples who gave up playing uni football in BUSA 1 when their uni was actually good at football) would rather test themselves against teams who give them the runaround at international level, than play against uni footie ‘lads’ who probably aren’t even good enough to play county league football. Yes, England get battered, but that type of experience is a good way of improving yourself, unlike merely going out on a weds night after beating a shit Bradford side and getting smashed.

    The best footballer York uni has had in recent years is probably Dom O’Shea, who is now playing Ryman South. This is nothing against Dom – he’s still quality, but I would rather play against a top futsal team of Spanish wonderkids on tour who may go on and play professional FOOTBALL, than a bunch of average football players from Leeds.

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  20. I’m one of the best tiddlywink players in the world! i can’t say im particuarly good at it tho, its more to do with the fact that nobody gives a shit and wants to compete!! It wasnt hard to get to top 10 in the world, all i had to get was a win draw and a loss!!

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  21. 10 Mar ’10 at 5:57 pm

    Crumpled Foreskin

    Dear Jim,

    Your examples disprove your argument.

    Ben Mortlock and Curt Holmes went from UNIVERSITY level football, to INTERNATIONAL level futsal: DO YOU SEE THE DISPARITY.

    Rather than play at a lesser level at a more competitve sport, by switching to an easier game, they have went from SMALL FISH in a BIG POOL to BIG FISH in a SMALL POOL.

    Footballers who are frustrated with their lack of progression in the game (at whatever level – obviously your two examples are quality players) can switch to futsal and pretend to be superstars.

    I don’t mind that – each to their own and all, but please don’t try and pretend it’s a significant feat.

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  22. Jimmy, this example further disproves your argument:

    “the best footballer York uni has had in recent years is probably Dom O’Shea, who is now playing Ryman South”…

    everyone knows it is really Joe Cooper.

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  23. 10 Mar ’10 at 6:48 pm

    Ibrahim Sonko

    I don’t get these futsal-bashing arguments. The articles is simply about an achievement by a university team, which is what this website is supposed to report on. If you don’t care, don’t read the article.

    What futsal players are pretending to be superstars, if they play for england, they play for england. Clearly Crumpled Foreskin is a teeny bit resentful that he’s not taking part in the fun – he’s obviously hid his name because his real name would make us gasp in awe of his amazing football achievements, how many World Cups have you won again? none? well i guess you should just give up seeing as it doesn’t matter.

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  24. Dom O’shea is the best York University footballer in recent years? What about me??

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  25. 10 Mar ’10 at 8:46 pm

    Crumpled Foreskin

    I refuse to reply to someone who criticises my use of a pseudonym….. whilst using a pseudonym.


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  26. I agree with crumply penis, who in this country could possibly be interested in a game that emphasises technique, skill and flair? As english citizens you lot should all be down 22 acres of a weekend kicking the ball as hard and high as you can. As a fat college centre half I resent people with talent and i’m personally offended by the content of this article.

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  27. All these people dissing the game for no reason, can come down to the tent for an open session and lets see whether you can actually play… i back 100% that you can’t and would get ripped apart.

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  28. 11 Mar ’10 at 1:51 am

    Myles Preston

    no little boy wakes up and says they want to be a futsaller, the game just isnt that popular, i agree however every single uni footballer including mark mcleod negates the argument that futsall is a game played by failed futballers because as far as i know, and correct me if im wrong, but i dont think anyone at york university making 20 grand a weekk to play the beautiful game whilst doing an economic degree on the side. we are all failed footballers thats why we are here reading and commenting on nouse articles. futsall is actually a pretty hard game im not saying its better than football, the two arent comparible. but i wouldnt be so quick to have a go at a few lads who play the game, not because they think futsall is life changing but simply because they want to play as much football as they can. i would say uni football is where failed football with unjustified arrogance go to infalte their egos and as soon as you all leave york, no one is going to care about your sporting exploits either.

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  29. shut up preston

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  30. yeh shut it preston you bombaclart

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  31. struggling to understand the random people ripping into futsal when it’s first team is littered with uni 1s and 2s footballers. Hard to argue to a uni first futsal player that he’s just a failed footballer when he probably plays at a higher uni football level than any of the authors of the above comments (which as preston says is still a league for failed footballers).

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  32. I’m absoloutely outraged about this “failed footballer” tag…
    Everybody knows I’m THE MOST naturally gifted footballer at this uni, and the fact that I only represent the futsal 2nd team speaks dividends about the high standard of the Futsal club! I heard we could have gone all the way in Sheffield if it wasn’t for a dodgy keeper.


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