(Photo; Stephen Mullane)
by Jack Mallon
Throughout this year, Brigsport has chronicled the aspirations and progress of Stirling University Men’s Futsal. With an aim set out six months ago, to stamp their authority on all four major competitions which they had entered. This week has seen the culmination of three years’ work for the men’s team as they won the Scottish Universities Futsal championships in Livingston.
Playing four intense matches over the course of a day was the final test to decide the Scottish championship. Competition was tough for the Stirling 1st team, in particular when all brotherly love was put aside against Stirling 2nds. In a match even more fiercely fought than the two previous encounters this season, Stirling 1st eventually came out on top by a score of 3-2.
Besides a close scrape with Edinburgh University 2nds, Stirling 1st were able to show off their relaxed and efficient style of play with ease. Their dominance was asserted in successive demolitions of Edinburgh 1st and St Andrews, both by seven goal margins, with the highlight of the day being a spectacular goal from an awkward angle by Robert Paval. This performance proved that Stirling University are assuming a dominant position in Scottish collegiate futsal.
Captain Alexandru Bogdan gave full credit to the team’s matured attitude. With regards to future ambitions Bogdan believes that;
“we are getting closer and closer to achieving something big”.
With this victory the team progresses onto the BUCs Trophy round of 16, against sporting powerhouse Durham University, the winners of the BUCs Northern 1A Division. A further prize in sight is the Scottish National League, which encompasses all top division clubs. As runners up last season Stirling will be top contenders, and victory in the tournament will allow the team to qualify for the UEFA Futsal Cup-the sport’s version of the Champions League.
One trophy down, two more to go.
Stirling 1st (3) vs. Stirling 2nd (Final Score 3-2)
Stirling 1st (4) vs. Edinburgh 2nd (Final Score 4-3)
Stirling 1st vs. Edinburgh 1st (Final Score 7-0)
Stirling 1st vs. St Andrews (Final Score 8-1)