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Helvécia hope for English futsal first

Among the top seeds in the preliminary round draw, Helvécia Futsal London could be the first English side to make it through, something Ben Mortlock says "would be amazing".

Helvécia beat Stella Rossa Wien 7-3 on Ben Mortlock's debut last year
Helvécia beat Stella Rossa Wien 7-3 on Ben Mortlock's debut last year ©Thomas Neumayer

No English team have yet got past a round of UEFA futsal competition, but Helvécia Futsal London might just put that right next month.

Helvécia's fourth straight title in May earned them another UEFA Futsal Cup campaign. Last year they were only beaten by Győri ETO FC, who made it all the way to the elite round, and Helvécia's record of earning six points out of nine in each of their three entries has earned them top seeding in the preliminary round draw on Wednesday. Their English international Ben Mortlock is hopeful for their mini-tournament next month, wherever they are sent, with teams like former winners MFK Dinamo Moskva potentially awaiting in the main round.

"We won the title and we're top seeds now, so we should be the best team in the group," Mortlock told UEFA.com. "So hopefully we'll go into the main round and play some of the top teams in Europe. It would be amazing, it would make history to be the first English team to do it."

The experience of European competition is invaluable to the part-time players in the preliminary round like Mortlock, who took up futsal in 2004 and works as a sports therapist with professional football clubs. "You play teams like Győr, you learn so much when you play teams like that so playing in the Futsal Cup with Helvécia has really helped at international level," he said. "Last season my debut for Helvécia was in the Futsal Cup qualifying round in Austria against Stella Rossa. It was an amazing experience."