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9 December 2009 | PR 09/171

Student Aldred achieves full England Futsal cap

Matt Aldred

Matt Aldred in action

Loughborough University student Matt Aldred was part of the successful England Futsal team to record impressive results against African champions Libya at the weekend (4-5 December).

The third year sport and exercise science student received a late call-up to the team to become the football club’s first ever player to receive a full England international cap.

Aldred, who was called up just one week before the weekend’s fixtures, played in both matches as England recorded a 1-1 draw and 2-1 win against Africa’s top team, registering only their third ever win since the team was formed three years ago.

Footballer Aldred was invited to an England training camp at the start of November where he impressed team management with his individual style. He was on stand-by for the Libya trip when his spot in the final 14 was confirmed.

“As a footballer it’s your dream to play for England and when I was called up to the national squad for the indoor game it was an opportunity I grabbed with both hands,” he said. “It didn’t really sink in that I was playing for England until we first walked out and sang the national anthem.”

After the teams drew 1-1 in their first match a ruffled Libya, who are ranked 26th in the world to England’s 96th, drafted in their number one player Mohammed Omar who has been selected to play against Brazil in a World All-Stars Team later this year.

“It’s credit to how well England played that Libya recalled their star player” added Aldred. The England players were saying how important these matches were and to record such a great result away from home makes my debut extra special.

“Before I went on, our manager told me just to enjoy it, and I’m happy with how I played. Futsal is different to football in that as a player you only have two or three minutes to come on and make your mark, and at international level it’s even more key.

“That pressure to do something and the need to quickly acclimatise to the pace is probably the main difference between international and national league Futsal. You’ve got to get involved and be on the ball from the start, but I really enjoyed it.”

Aldred will re-join the England squad at a national training camp in January and will hope his performance there, and during Loughborough’s National League fixtures over the coming months, will secure him a spot in the England team for back-to-back Cyprus fixtures in the Spring. 

−ENDS−

For all media enquiries contact:

Amanda Overend
Sports PR Officer
Loughborough University
T: 01509 228686
E: A.J.Overend@lboro.ac.uk 

Notes for editors:

1. Futsal is an indoor small-sided version of football which uses a smaller, heavier ball than the 11-a-side game and requires greater skill, movement, fitness and tactical awareness. Originating in South America, players compete on a marked pitch similar to the full size counterpart with hockey-sized goals, but cannot use the walls as in the traditional five-a-side game.

With an emphasis on individual skill and technical development Futsal is a more appropriate development game for football and is widely popular with players of all ages across Europe and South America. Futsal is played for 30 minutes each way with squads of up to 12 players. There is no height restriction on the ball and rolling substitutions are allowed.

2. Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for excellence in teaching and research, strong links with industry, and unrivalled sporting achievement and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It was awarded the coveted Sunday Times University of the Year 2008-09 title, and is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in national newspaper league tables. In the 2009 National Student Survey, Loughborough was voted one of the top five universities in the UK, and was named winner of the 2006, 2007 and 2008 Times Higher award for the UK’s Best Student Experience. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded six Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

It is a member of the esteemed 1994 Group – a set of internationally recognised, research-intensive universities – and has a reputation for the relevance of its work. Its degree programmes are highly regarded by professional institutions and businesses, and its graduates are consistently targeted by the UK’s top recruiters.

Loughborough is also the UK’s premier university for sport. It has perhaps the best integrated sports development environment in the world and is home to some of the country’s leading coaches, sports scientists and support staff. It also has the country’s largest concentration of world-class training facilities across a wide range of sports.

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