The Sunshine Coast and Moreton Bay region will play host to the 2019 Football Queensland (FQ) Futsal State Titles on Saturday, 20 April and Sunday, 21 April 2019.
The event provides an opportunity for teams from across Queensland to come together to compete and also acts as a pathway to the FFA Futsal National Championships.
There are numerous players in our midst who have used both the State Titles and the National Championships as a way to catapult themselves into domestic and international football success.
Currently making his mark in the Hyundai A-League after playing in the FQ Futsal State Titles is Central Coast Mariners midfielder, Joshua Nisbet.
Representing Queensland at numerous State and National Futsal Championships, futsal was a huge part of his development, starting from a young age all the way through to the Premier Men’s competition.
Nisbet made his professional football debut for Central Coast Mariners on August 2018 in an FFA Cup match against Adelaide United and has mounted a list of eye-catching achievements since his arrival.
He won the club’s Foxtel Y-League Player of the Year award in 2018 and has achieved ultimate success earlier this year, signing his first professional football contact for the Mariners.
A little closer to home, Olympic FC’s Jez Lofthouse and Brisbane Roar/QAS’ Jamilla Rankin are two ex-futsal players now making their mark in the state’s premier leagues.
Selected to play in the State Titles for three years in a row (2015-2017), Lofthouse is now competing in the National Premier Leagues (NPL) Queensland after busting on the scene for Sunshine Coast FC and Olympic.
A winger full of skill and pace, Lofthouse also has an eye for goals, scoring 15 goals and 12 assists in the 2018 season.
The 19 year old had an outstanding first season, being the only Olympic FC player to take part in every match and was named in the NPL Queensland Team of the Season for 2018.
Following a similar story line, Jamilla Rankin also dominated in the State and National titles, receiving the 12 & 14 Girls Most Valuable Player (MVP) award in 2016 at States and named Player of the Match in the 2016 Grand Final at Nationals.
Advancing her football career, Rankin started to play for Southern Cross University in the Football Gold Coast Junior Premier League, where she was awarded the privilege of joining the Liverpool FC Ladies under 15s team in the UK for two weeks in 2018.
She now utilises her skills for Brisbane Roar/QAS in this year’s National Premier League Women’s (NPLW) Queensland, as well as being selected to play for the Australia under-16s team.
Rankin’s hard work paid off when she made her first national appearance in Queensland playing the full 90 minutes and helping her team to a 2-1 victory and her focus is now on preparing for the forthcoming 2019 AFC U-16 Women’s Championship.
With the Futsal State Titles also offering the chance to play in FFA Futsal National Championships, W-League and international footballers Rebekah Stott and Larissa Crummer are two women who used the Championships as a platform to advance their football careers.
Stott participated in the futsal National Championships in 2010 and is now making her mark on the football field both domestically and internationally.
After previously playing for Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory in the W-League, Stott joined Melbourne City for their inaugural season in 2015, helping them win three straight Championships.
Stott has also made 22 appearances for the Seattle Reign in the National Women’s Soccer League, nine appearances for the Sky Blue FC and has just signed with Avaldsnes IL in the Toppserien.
On the international stage, Stott has represented her country of birth New Zealand at both the London and Rio Olympics and at the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
In the same way, Larissa Crummer also experienced success at the FFA National Futsal Championships, scoring 12 goals in the 2011 titles, with her team finishing runners up in the Grand Final three years in a row.
Crummer debuted on the world stage at the age of 14 for the Young Matildas and in the same year was the youngest player on the team at the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Fast tracking her local career, Crummer made her professional debut at 16 years of age for Sydney FC during the 2012–13 season, helping the team win the league championship.
Going on to play for Brisbane Roar, Melbourne City and Seattle Reign, Crummer last year signed a one-year deal to join the Newcastle Jets for the 2018-2019 W-League season.
Another player who used the National Championships as a pathway, Jeremy Stewart has gone on to make an impact in both the NPL Queensland and the Football Queensland Premier League (FQPL).
Playing his first NPL Queensland season in 2017 for the Brisbane Strikers, Stewart had limited trouble finding the back of the net, earning himself the Golden Boot in his first season for the club with 15 goals.
In 2018 Stewart moved to the Sunshine Coast Wanderers and is dominating up forward, currently the club’s leading goal scorer this season, helping them to second place on the FQPL ladder after six rounds.
With multiple players going on to achieve domestic and international football success after competing at the FQ Futsal State Titles, this year’s competition will once again provide a pathway to the FFA Futsal National Championships.
Words: Zoe Nilsen
Image: Chris Simpson