Futsal: Brazilians will add flair to South team

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 team.

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 Watson.

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 games.

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).

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