Kids give League5 Futsal Academy the thumbs up!

It may have been a snowy Sunday in Prague with sub-zero temperatures but the guys behind the League5 Football Academy were about to begin another training session inside the “bubble” at the Bohemians futsal hall.

The academy is in it’s first year offering football training for kids of all ages and the reviews have been positively glowing so I decided to check out the action for myself.

I arrived soon after the training had started for the 6-9 year olds and the first thing that struck me was the fun the kids seem to be having and this was before a ball had even been kicked!

Johan Cheikh is one of the co-founders of the League5 Futsal Academy and he soon greeted me upon arrival with a warm cup of tea and his vision of the academy “We have four key values here - fun, fair play, health and education. As you can see we don’t have a strict environment here. We want the kids to enjoy themselves and have fun.”

“While we promote fun and fair play we also take this seriously. Andrew (the other co-founder of League5) is a qualified coach and plays for Sparta Prague futsal team. While our other trainers have a strong background in futsal too.”

“We have a very international community and it’s not only great for the kids, but for the parents too. We had one of the dads who wanted to open a café and he met the owner of a hotel and bar here to share ideas and experiences.” Johan told me.

I watched the session begin as Andrew gave the kids instructions on their next activity. Meanwhile, I began chatting to one of the parents on the sidelines about the football sessions.

“My kid loves it here, we joined the group as soon as we heard about it. It’s not like other football training we’ve joined before. There is a really nice and welcoming atmosphere,” one of the dads told me.

I was curious as to what the exercise or game they playing so I asked what the kids were doing “Hmmm, actually this is the first time I’ve seen them play this activity. That’s what is brilliant here, they are always introducing new games and skills.”

The amount of different nationalities and languages on show was also staggering. Andrew speaks French, English and some Czech while the other coaches can also communicate in Spanish, Italian and Czech too. The coaches, as well speaking multiple languages, have also played for the U21 national futsal team and they are qualified to coach children up to the ages of 14.

Next up, the kids were doing some small jogging exercises around a small course and it gave me an opportunity to speak to a Japanese and Chinese family who were watching their children.

“We take our children to all kinds of sports clubs. Judo, rugby, tennis and taekwondo but they love this one the most! It’s not about competition and winning, they have fun and get a chance to mix with children from other cultures.” they told me.

It was clear that the main trainer, Andrew Argent, was enjoying himself just as much as the kids who were chasing him with the football.

Following some passing practice between the kids they divided the group into four teams and held two small matches at the end of the session. As they were ending I had a chance to catch up with Andrew and get his thoughts on how it went.

“As you can see, the kids seemed to have enjoyed it a lot and it’s getting better each week,” Andrew said “See, look at this… “ he said referring to the kids still playing in small groups behind him “Nobody really knew each other when we started back in September and now they are all socializing together. “

“It’s great to see so many kids here having fun and mixing together – it’s much better than being inside and playing on the PlayStation!” Andrew said as another training was about to get underway.

The League5 Futsal Academy training sessions are held at the Bohemians futsal hall on Slovenska 2, Prague 2 and begin at 9:30am and finish at 12:30pm. They are split into three groups with the 4 to 6 years olds first, then 7 to 9 years old with the 10 year olds and older in the final hour.

As interest has risen in the League5 Academy they will be holding additional training sessions from February on Tuesday nights at 5pm to 6pm. Sessions cost from 130kc each based on a yearly membership – although if you mention Prague.TV you can get the first session for free.

Anyone can come and join and the fun and you can find more information at their Facebook page here or website here.

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