Regent City’s under-16s manager Salim Mohamed has stated that he is not fond of the rule changes made by Futsal Oz to the Series Futsal Victoria (SFV) under-16s competition.
Last week, the league was moved from Tuesday nights to Friday nights, and is now played as a curtain raiser to the SFV men’s league.
But it was the change in the amount of overage players allowed per team that has Mohamed most concerned.
“The youth leagues are run to a high standard by Futsal Oz and create an excellent platform for the rising stars to showcase their talent, you can’t find this kind of opportunity anywhere else in Victoria,” Mohamed said.
“But I believe the change of the rule to allow for four overage players basically turned the under-16s league into another under-21s league.
“It creates a need to use those overage slots to get the results instead of giving chances to younger players who are 16 and under.
“You have to pick between giving the those talented 12-14 year olds game time at the risk of creating a ‘losing culture’ or limit their playing minutes to allow the team to be very competitive.
“Teams who aren’t using those underage slots efficiently are mainly not doing so due to a lack of depth, and it seems as though the rule changes favour certain teams.”
Under the old structure, teams were allowed to field one goalkeeper and one outfield player between the ages 17 and 21, with teams now being permitted to field two extra overage players up to the age of 18, meaning teams can essentially field a starting-five with only one player under the age of 16.
Mohamed’s Regent side came out 7-3 victors last Friday night while fielding three overage players, and the manager was bittersweet about the victory after the final whistle.
“I have to select my squad according to the strength of the opponents and the number of overage players they might field. I have to protect the young players at times by not selecting them, which can be very disappointing for them but those are the consequences of the rules.
“As a new team to the league, unfortunately we aren’t able to commit to trainings and have to learn from the games as we go. For example, against Carlton Heart we can field more of the younger players as they don’t have many overage players. However that’s not always the case with other teams.”
What do you think? Do you think the rules should be changed back to the way they were? Leave a comment and let us know.