AKU would not be where it is without Peter Parthimos and Futsal Oz. Considering the circumstance, that statement stands true void of emotion or sentiment. It’s just a matter of fact.
My relationship with Futsal Oz started well before I had even thought of the concept of AKU. I was just your regular big fish in a small pond, playing “indoor” in social leagues, bullying hobbyist and friends playing the sport to keep in touch with each other. Not long after, I was scouted and asked to join what was known as Futsal Oz’s “V League” at the time. My first experiences in the Futsal Oz centre at Brunswick was somewhat of an awakening, as Futsal Oz provided a platform for a nobody like me to be broadcast to people from homes, playing with and against some of the states best players. This has since grown, allowing for a platform of semi professional clubs like my own, Melbourne AKU FC, to be borne as well as a breeding ground to find and cultivate talented individuals like so many of the well known names in the Futsal Community currently. There was, and I can confidently say, currently is nothing like it in Victoria.
A few weeks after AKU was registered as a business, we knew we needed to partner with an organisation or club that would propel us right into the heart of the futsal community from the start. There was nobody else on the list on our strategy except for Futsal Oz. I set up a meeting with Peter and after a week of preparing my pitch for AKU to be a part of the prestigious Series Futsal Victoria, made my way down to the Thomastown stadium.
“Are you passionate about it?” Yeah I am.
“Can you deliver?” Yeah, 100%.
It was done in 2 minutes. We shook hands and as the cliché says, the rest is history. From kitting up over 30% of the Futsal Oz Elite League clubs, creating a uniform solution for SES referees, co-partnering in Series Futsal Australia to creating the Futsal Oz Australian All Star kit, this simple partnership allowed us to both challenge the status quo of futsal in Australia and transcend the boundaries of what we didn't perceive as possible.
Nevertheless, it's a devastating day for Futsal in Victoria. The news of Futsal Oz shutting down its 3 centres for the immediate future shattered me, not only for its relationship with AKU, but leaves myself, my teammates and thousands of other futsal players feeling somewhat lost and homeless with an uncertain future of what this means for our sport, our clubs and our playing careers. Without dwelling on the ifs or whats, right now is a time to reflect on what this community was able to create and simply say a big thank you to Futsal Oz, Peter and his team for creating a platform for us average joes to achieve everything we didn’t think we deserved.
From Ruz & the team at AKU