17 girls, 12 spots, 3 months to train and one competition. The final four championships for the title of best futsal team in Croatia.
This competition is between universities from different regions of Croatia – Split, Rijeka, Osijek and Zagreb. We are Zagreb.
The other three teams, Rijeka, Split and Osijek, have very talented soccer players but unfortunately not the same conditions to train for the competition like we did in Zagreb. We would train every week, several times a week, from 10-12 at night because it was the only time the gym was free, and we did this for approximately 3 months.
With this in mind, the amount of training and work that we put into being prepared for this futsal competition was the real reason why we were successful. The other teams had many talented individual players, and all of them played outdoor soccer and knew how to play the game, but were not able to put in the same amount of training that we were able to.
I mentioned in previous episodes that I started playing futsal a few years ago, and that last year we got embarrassed in the finals because we were the only team that rigorously trained for the competition and we lost miserably after underestimating our opponents and overestimating ourselves.
After winning the semi-finals 7-2 we were ecstatic and ready for the finals the next day. We were playing well and mentally focused on the game. The finals came and although nervous, we wouldn’t let it happen to us again that we let the game slip through our hands when we believed that we worked hard enough to claim the title.
We scored in the first goal rather early, and then I came in and scored the second which was how the first half ended. The second half was much longer and more exciting. This game lasted about a good hour and 45 minutes. We were playing against the team from Split again just like last year. I have to give credit to Split because they were a tough opponent this year and last and the tensions around this game were always high because both teams are very talented. Last year in this situation my team fell apart under the pressure and this year the tables just seemed to have turned a little more in our favor. I even had some luck specifically regarding a goal that I scored after an alleged hand ball that the referee did not see. The finals ended with a 6-3 score and we then very happily claimed the title of futsal champions on Croatia for this year.
Winning this competition was a euphoric feeling mostly because of the amount of effort that we put into training for it.
I hadn’t had that feeling after winning a match in a long time, that kind of high satisfaction. I couldn’t come back to my senses for about a week after the match, I was just constantly happy and couldn’t help but to smile all day long.