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Switzerland starting from scratch

Published: Wednesday 19 January 2011, 20.51CET
Switzerland are making their competitive senior futsal debut in the preliminary round on Friday and coach David Meyer tells that he is ambitious for swift progression.
by Massimo Gonnella
from Nyon
Switzerland starting from scratch
Switzerland are making their first bid for the trophy ©


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Published: Wednesday 19 January 2011, 20.51CET

Switzerland starting from scratch

Switzerland are making their competitive senior futsal debut in the preliminary round on Friday and coach David Meyer tells that he is ambitious for swift progression.

Switzerland may be established as a footballing power but their UEFA Futsal EURO 2012 preliminary round campaign starting on Friday represents their senior competition debut in the small-sided sport. Coach David Meyer talks about setting up the team from scratch as they prepare to face Moldova, Turkey and Montenegro in Group A in Izmir. Switzerland have started futsal relatively late. What level have you reached?

David Meyer: The coaches of the top-division clubs have from the very beginning put pressure on the Swiss Football Association (SFV-ASF) to create a national team. It opted to first create an Under-21 squad who played in qualifying for the [2008] European tournament in Madrid against Spain. However, UEFA discontinued this underage competition, and we then decided to create this senior national team. This team was quickly formed, mainly with the top players from the domestic league and four to five members of the U21 selection.

[We had a] three-day training camp every month between September and November and a four-nation competition in December in Berne [losing 5-1 to a South Germany squad and beating Malta 4-3 for third place], allowing us to see where we stand on a European level. The ultimate target will be to get through the preliminary round of the European Championship. The Swiss futsal league is relatively young. Does the small number of clubs allow you to find enough talent for the national team?

Meyer: The main job for our technical staff in recent months has been to form a team. We now have a small pool of players I do consider good enough for the national team. However, there are still some changes with new recruits coming in and out. One of our main problems is that most of our futsal players still also play outdoor football. Our objective is to make our players understand that futsal is becoming a more and more serious affair and that they will have to make a choice. So far, we have a group of some 20 players, but the door remains open for talents that will emerge from the current domestic season. Switzerland have recently won football's FIFA U-17 World Cup with several players of foreign roots. The futsal league has a similar situation with many such players involved. What does this mean for the national team coach?

Meyer: For me the multicultural nature of Swiss football and futsal remains an advantage. The playing culture coming from other countries and mentalities will help us, as in these countries, where many of our players are originally from, futsal has been played for much longer than in Switzerland. We have to cope with this, that's the time we live in. I think this is an advantage, because these players do not necessarily have the same mentality older Swiss people had before; they are less frightened and feel less pressure and are willing to improve. To work with these different cultures and mentalities will surely benefit us in the longer term. What are the realistic objectives for an inexperienced futsal country like Switzerland?

Meyer: Looking at all the participants involved in this preliminary round, in the longer term playing against them does not seem to be as attractive. Our aim will therefore be to close the gap as quickly as we can to get through at least this preliminary round and make it into the main qualifying round, where we will be able to play against the continent's top countries and learn from them.

Last updated: 28/01/12 4.40CET

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