IROQUOIS – Following a successful pilot project last winter at Morrisburg Public School, local soccer club South Dundas United is launching a three-league indoor soccer season beginning November 29.
“We’re excited to be able to expand last year’s pilot project into a more substantive season,” said SDU president Phil Blancher.
Last winter, the club launched a free weekly drop-in indoor soccer (futsal) program using some of the funds they received from the 100 Women Who Care About South Dundas organization for indoor-specific equipment. With the expansion, the soccer club is moving to a larger, double-gym at Seaway District High School in Iroquois.
SDU is expanding to three indoor leagues this year, Under-9, U-12, and U-15 – all leagues are co-ed. Each league has four teams of 10 players, with registration capped at 40 players each. Using the double gym at Seaway allows the club to have two games play at the same time. Each team plays with five players on the court (four players plus goalkeeper.)
SDU’s indoor soccer is a modified form of a game called Futsal, which players play on a hard court like a basketball court, using smaller nets.
“This is great for players to develop more ball control, focus on passing, and working on 1v1 challenges,” Blancher explained. “Many of the world’s great soccer players – Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, and Péle – learned or developed their playing skills while playing Futsal.”
The SDU indoor soccer season kicks off November 29 with two weeks of skills development and training. A nine-week regular season will start on December 13 and run to February 21, 2024. Two weeks of playoffs are scheduled for February 28 and March 6 to close out the season.
“One of the things we found with our pilot project last year was there was a need for something sports-related, that wasn’t related to being on skates,” Blancher said. “We saw constant growth in interest throughout last winter, which is why the club moved forward on this.”
He added that combined with last winter’s indoor soccer, and the two outdoor soccer seasons, South Dundas United will have soccer programming for a total of 29 weeks in 2023 by the end of the calendar year.
“So far registration for the U-12 and U15 leagues are each two-thirds full, while the U-9 league is just under half full,” said Blancher.
SDU’s indoor soccer registration is open to players born between 2009 and 2017. There are no residency restrictions: any youth player can register. Fees are $45 per player and all that is needed for equipment is a pair of indoor running shoes. Shin guards are highly recommended for players. The registration deadline for indoor soccer is November 11, and players can register by visiting www.southdundasunited.ca/2023-registration