Madelyn Ryan, 17, of Maclean High School, has been offered a Futsal scholarship to Brazil in 2014.
Madelyn Ryan, 17, of Maclean High School, has been offered a Futsal scholarship to Brazil in 2014. Adam Hourigan

Futsal scholarship offer

MADDY Ryan knows sport.

In fact, the 17-year-old Maclean High School student shines at most sports she tries.

Cricket, soccer, touch football, you name it, Ryan has what it takes to make the grade.

But there is another sport the talented sportswomen is slowly mastering - the popular game of Futsal.

After representing Australia recently in Brazil it looks like the Maclean Futsal prodigy is set to make the big time.

According to Ryan, she has been offered a scholarship to play a season in Brazil after impressive performances against the Brazilian women's national side.

"When I got selected into the Australian team we went over to Brazil and played against their sides," Ryan said.

"We ended up playing their main Futsal teams and decided to play the actual Brazilian team and won the grand final 2-1.

"I was the youngest in the team and ended up being captain.

"The Brazilian coach asked me after the final to do a nine-month scholarship whenever I want in the next five-years.

"So, hopefully, I'll get to do that in 2014 when the Soccer World Cup is on."

Before gaining selection in the national side, Ryan represented Northern NSW before being named in the state team.

"I started off playing with local clubs and from there selectors picked a Premier League team," she said.

"I got picked for Northern NSW, the state team and from there I was selected to represent Australia in the opens/under-19 side."

Ryan admits South America, and in particular Brazil, is a Futsal-mad country, so much so there is a Futsal court almost on every block.

"The best thing about going to Brazil is they're so passionate about their sport," Ryan said.

"Like with Futsal every 100 metres there would be a soccer field or Futsal court ... it's just great to see.

"They'd rather have a Futsal court than a roof on top of their house."


What is Futsal?

Futsal is five-a-side football that is played extensively throughout the world.

The term 'Futsal' is an abbreviation of the Portuguese 'futebol de salão' or the Spanish 'futbol sala', both of which translated literally mean 'indoor football'.

It is played on a pitch approximately the size of a basketball or netball court with a ball which is smaller and heavier than the outdoor football and has a reduced bounce.

The ball forces a player to use their skill rather than the ball's bounce to propel it.

As a small sided game, players are constantly placed in situations where they must receive or play while under pressure or in confined spaces.

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