Wattcell bid to make Scottish futsal history on European stage

Edinburgh-based futsal club Wattcell will attempt to create history when they fly the flag for Scotland in the UEFA Champions League this week.

Wednesday, 29th August 2018, 6:30 am
Chris Smith, second left, is player-coach of Edinburgh-based futsal club Wattcell. Pic: Cameron Steel

The current Scottish super league champions, who are made up of semi-pro footballers, will take on Danish side JB Futsal Gentofte today, before playing their Bosnian hosts FC Mostar SG tomorrow and Maccabi Nahalat Yitzhak Tel-Aviv from Israel on Saturday.

Watcell need to finish first in Group A at the preliminary stage to progress to the October’s main round. No Scottish team has ever won a futsal match on the continent before.

Members of the 14-man squad that flew out of Edinburgh airport yesterday morning include former Albion Rovers midfielder Craig McLeish and Gavin Malin, who was at Edinburgh City and Spartans last season.

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Futsal is an increasingly-popular indoor five-a-side game and was played by Dunfermline striker Faissal El Bakhtaoui before he joined the Pars for the first time in 2012.

Watcell player/coach Chris Smith, who is also player and coach development officer at the Scottish FA, said: “This will be a fantastic experience to go away and compete in Europe against different football cultures and we’re all looking forward to it.

“No Scottish team has won a game in Europe and that’s our aim. We think our best chance will come against either the Danes or the Israelis, as Mostar are really good.

“All our boys play at a decent level. Most of them are playing or have experienced playing in the likes of the junior game, the Lowland League and East of Scotland football.

“We believe this is the strongest Scottish squad that’s been away and hopefully we can get that win.

“We will be as professional as we can be and we think we can be competitive.”