The inclusion of three Brazilians will make the Futsal South
team a formidable opponent in the national league that starts
in Dunedin at the weekend.
The first of three rounds of the eight-team league will be be
played at the Lion Foundation Arena.
Futsal South finished fifth in last year's league but
player-coach Michael Sannum expects an improvement.
''We have a stronger team and are aiming for the top four
playoffs,'' Sannum said.
''We have a few surprises in the way we play.''
The Brazilians live in Queenstown and will add South American
flair to the Futsal South team.
Carlos Herrmann, the captain, played professional futsal in
Brazil before shifting to New Zealand.
Daniel Bocatios, the goalie, is an experienced player and had
a trial for the Phoeni.
The other Brazilian is Pedro Neto.
There are two New Zealand representatives in the Futsal South
Peter Rae (Timaru) was a member of the New Zealand team that
played in the World Cup in Colombia last year, and Sannum
played against Australia in September.
The other newcomers in the squad, all from Dunedin, are Dorje
Passang (17), Chris Sannum (18), Samer Dabous and James
Passang, a pupil at Logan Park High School, is one of three
schoolboys in the squad.
The others are Chris Sannum (King's) and 15-year old Rohan
Ali (Otago Boys'), who is the baby of the team.
Auckland won the league last year and will be a warm
favourite to repeat this year.
Last season, it had a perfect record of 14 wins from 14
League MVP Dylan Manickum also claimed the golden boot with a
season tally of 19 goals.
This is the third year of the national league.
Waikato-Bay of Plenty is the new team on the block.
The league is played over three weekends.
Auckland hosts the second in February and the final round is
in Wellington in March.
For the first time, all seven New Zealand Football
federations have entered teams.
New Zealand Football has helped source funding for 13
dedicated futsal staff across all seven federations and
delivered the national junior festival and youth
championships, the New Zealand secondary school
championships, and the national girls and women's tournament
within the calendar of events for 2012.
Futsal South team
For national league
Carlos Herrmann (captain), Pedro Neto, Daniel Bocatios (all
Queenstown), Rohan Ali, Dorje Passang, Chris Sannum, Michael
Sannum, Darren Hart, Tom Morley, Samer Dabous, James Watson
(Dunedin), Peter Rae (Timaru).