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Canty players stand out in international futsal games

Aaron Dahmen
Futsal
Canterbury players are shining for New Zealand futsal teams.  Max Pixel

Six Canterbury United Futsal players starred on the opening night of the Trans-Tasman Futsal Cup.

Two Canterbury United Futsal Pride players made their debut for the women's national team on Tuesday night. 

Britney-Lee Nicholson and Sophie Williams took the court against New Caledonia, both finding the net in a one-sided encounter.

Coached by Nic Downes, the 14-strong squad beat the Pacific Islanders 14-0 in the first match of the Trans Pacific Futsal Cup in Tauranga.

The Futsal Ferns have been in development for over seven years.

Futsal Development Officer Dave Payne said futsal was in a ''fantastic place and rapidly developing as the fastest growing sport in the country''.

Statistics showed futsal had a 318 per cent increase in player numbers between 2011 and 2016. 

Payne said local groups had actively pushed for more women to take up the sport. 

"Now this national team is their reward as women's futsal becomes a priority in the New Zealand Football pathway."

Womens: Futsal Ferns vs New Caledonia - Match 1

TPFC Match 1 - Futsal Ferns

TPFC Match 1 | Futsal Ferns Highlights The Futsal Ferns created history in their first ever FIFA Futsal International fixture against New Caledonia at ASB Baypark in Tauranga last night. Check out all of the action from their 14-0 victory below. Watch again live tonight from 8:00PM: https://livestream.com/accounts/10469815/events/7690004 #TPFC #FutsalFerns

Posted by NZF Futsal on Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Playing after their female counterparts, the New Zealand men's team took a convincing 1-0 lead in the three-match series.

Four Christchurch players were selected in a new-look Futsalwhites squad, shaking up the previously dominant monopoly of a North Island-heavy lineup. 

Marvin Eakins’ team, which had five players yet to play for New Zealand, were looking to make their mark in the opening game of the tournament, but were well held by the visitors in the first half with the scores 0-0 at the break.

Making his national debut, 18-year-old Cantabrian Benji Lapslie said "it was a dream come true" after facing national team players while playing for Canterbury in the New Zealand Futsal National League. 

Lapslie scored in the second half to help his team to a 3-1 win over New Caledonia. 

He won the Golden Boot for Mainland in the boys’ U-19 category at the youth championships in July 2016.  

Mens: Futsalwhites vs New Caledonia - Match 1

TPFC Match 1 - Futsal Whites

TPFC Match 1 | Futsal Whites Highlights The Futsal Whites kicked off their three-match series against New Caledonia at ASB Baypark in Tauranga last night. Check out all of the action from their 3-1 victory below. Watch again live tonight from 6:00PM: https://livestream.com/accounts/10469815/events/7690004 #TPFC #FutsalWhites

Posted by NZF Futsal on Tuesday, 12 September 2017

New Zealand Football has over 22,000 futsal players with the goal of reaching 27,000 by 2020.

The Futsal Ferns and Futsal Whites internationals are being shown on a live stream at www.nzfootball.co.nz