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February 1, 2021

By Keith Tozer - USYF Technical Director, 02/01/21, 2:30PM CST







I had the great pleasure of first meeting Javier in Taiwan before the 2004 FIFA Futsal World Cup started. We played Spain in a closed-door pre-tournament game for a warm-up. They were very gracious to play the United States even though they were considered one of the favorites to win the World Cup. Even though we lost it was a great tuneup game for us and I thought it was great preparation prior to us playing Argentina.

Javier since then has gone on to win two world championships and two UEFA championships and presently is the President of the most successful professional futsal  league in the world, LNFS.


Javier also has been one of the leading FIFA instructors helping to put together a FIFA futsal education program at all levels across the world. Several years ago in La Rosa outside of Madrid at the Spanish football complex I actually had the great pleasure of working with Javier at the first FIFA Futsal instructors course. There must’ve been 50 or 60 of us consisting of former and current national team coaches, current FIFA instructors as well as very highly qualified coaches from the outdoor game. Javier ran this course with the same professionalism he exhibits with his National Teams. He sweated the details, was extremely respectful to whoever was in the course and presented a format regarding the “Teach the Teacher” program that was fantastic.


It was an interesting mindset for me as someone who’s been in the indoor game and a national team coach for many years as the course was based on teaching instructors to teach other instructors. Not coaching players. It is a total different mindset and I found it very fascinating. Even though we had won several championships in indoor and two CONCACAF championships it was still very nerve-racking to have to be up in front of all these instructors from around the world and give a topic. I remember my topic in the first course was, kicki-in’s. I Remember going back to my room inside the Spanish football complex wondering how I’m going to do a session on kick in’s? After  much thought about how many kink-ins there are in a game and then cut the court into threes. Defensive third (possession orientated) middle third middle (possession orientated with attacking component), final third (attacking along with possession) The next day each instructor had to get up in front of his peers and present their topic in 10 minutes or less. Because I have been coaching for many years both professionally and with national teams my preparation really helped me. But I also give motivational talks for corporations. I really felt that being in front of 1000 people delivering a topic like team building or changes in the workplace really prepared me in order to present my topic. Even though I was nervous which is not a bad thing my public speaking experience  in front of people speaking really helped. We will be discussing in the Level 3 State Course about how important presentation and delivery is for coaches.


The second time at La Rosa they broke us up into groups of three and in that course I had the great pleasure to be with one of the best futsal minds in the world Mico Martic who presently is the head coach of Finland, has been a national team and professional futsal player and is considered one of the best UEFA and FIFA Futsal instructors in the world. The other person in my group was Scott Gilligan who’s been a national team coach for Australia and has traveled the world also as a FIFA instructor. I believe our topic was goalkeeper orientated in how to cut down angles. This time however being with Mico and Scott made it much easier as we could share our experiences and knowledge.


It is amazing for me as the Technical Director for USYF that someone of Javier stature would take the time out during a busy day and actually took a look at the course from the beginning to end. He was honest in his testimonial and I really love the fact that he felt that the way that we delivered it with methodology, training sessions, animation, and film was the way to go. To hear these words from him was extremely exciting as well as humbling.


I firmly believe that futsal has taking a huge step in our country in just the past 8 to 10 years. Coaches and leaders like Javier around the world believe that futsal in the United States is extremely important to the growth of the game around the world especially when the professional league starts. I am blessed to be a small part of that growth here and I look forward to the future of the game not only here in United States but around the world.

See you on the court!


Keith Tozer

Technical Director