Yukon Selects FC train in Whitehorse on April 10. (John Hopkins-Hill/Yukon News)

Yukon Selects FC make debut at 2018 Futsal Canadian Championship

‘It was definitely enlightening in terms of seeing the state of futsal across the country’

Yukon Selects FC were at Queens University in Kingston, Ont., for the 2018 Futsal Canadian Championship from April 19 to 22.

Competing against some of the best futsal club teams in the country, the Whitehorse outfit had a chance to see how Yukon futsal stacks up nationally.

Goalkeeper Andrew Mott said it was an interesting experience.

“It was definitely enlightening in terms of seeing the state of futsal across the country,” said Mott. “There are some really good players and some good teams.”

The Yukoners opened the weekend with a match on April 19 against Sporting Québec FC that started in eventful fashion.

Near the end of the first match, Mott came on in relief and quickly suffered an injury.

“I hadn’t even been playing a minute into the first game and I dislocated and broke my thumb,” said Mott who played the rest of the weekend.

“The opportunity to play guys at that level, you do what you can to be tough and forge on.”

Sporting Québec took the game 11-1.

The next morning, Selects FC faced off against eventual-champions Toronto Idolo Futsal, losing 15-2. In the final qualification game, Calgary Progressive FC bested the Yukon 10-1.

The Yukon Selects FC wrapped up their weekend in the win column, securing a 3-2 win against Nunavut’s Rankin FC.

Mott said the last game felt a little more familiar for the team.

“I think it was a different vibe in terms of … being able to relate a little bit more in terms of the player experience and where we were coming from,” said Mott.

“We pressured hard and I think that had we continued to pressure the way that we originally came out in the game, we could have pushed the lead further.”

By that time in the tournament, both teams had short benches. In addition to Mott’s thumb, two Yukon players dislocated their shoulders.

“It had been a really tough tournament — a lot of guys got hurt,” said Mott. “There was a bit of relief at the end just in terms of the chance to recoup and recover.”

In the Rankin FC game, Carl Knickle scored a pair of goals and was awarded a ball given to the team by Canada Soccer.

“He’s going off to school and he’s not going to be around, so I think for him pulling that out at the end, that was something worth mentioning and nice to see,” said Mott.

The team is taking a break to recover, but with upcoming changes in personnel it seems unlikely the team will be back in its current form.

Four players are heading to university in the fall and two players were underage call-ups, but Mott said there are players waiting in the wings.

“There are other guys,” said Mott. “It’s really been working on growing the sport and seeing how we can line things up with the league next year and with building a stronger, more connected team for next year.”

Overall, the experience showed just what is possible for the sport.

“It’s great to see the level of play,” said Mott. “Talking to these people from different areas and seeing the excitement and the growth, it shows where we’re headed and what we can accomplish by having some strong leadership in the community. That’s really exciting.”

Contact John Hopkins-Hill at john.hopkinshill@yukon-news.com

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