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WINNING IN THE PRAIRIES – The U17 Boys Yukon Selects team take their championship photo after defeating Yorkton United to win the Prairie Futsal Tournament Championships in Saskatoon on Sunday. Photo submitted by JAKE HANSON

Yukon Selects earn futsal medals in Saskatchewan

The Yukon Selects Football and Futsal Club sent three teams to the Prairie Futsal Tournament Championships in Saskatoon over the weekend.

By John Tonin on April 5, 2019

The Yukon Selects Football and Futsal Club sent three teams to the Prairie Futsal Tournament Championships in Saskatoon over the weekend.

The club was represented by the U17 boys and the women’s and men’s select teams.

The U17 boys came home with some hardware as they defeated Yorkton United 7-1 in the final match.

The team got two goals from Joe Hansen while Ben Kishchuk, Andrew Roberts, Lowell DeCook, Kade Bringsli, and Ashton Bryant potted singles for the team.

The U17 boys faced Yorkton in their first game with a much different result.

“Yorkton beat us in that first game,” said coach Sean Macdonald. “Yorkton had a real aggressive goalie and it was a style we hadn’t seen before.”

In the championship match, the team was able to figure out the winning formula.

“We sat back and let Yorkton come to us and make mistakes,” said Macdonald. “On offence, we just held onto the ball longer and made the extra pass to get around the goalie.”

The Women Selects finished second place after losing to the University of Saskatchewan side 3-0.

The women’s tournament featured strong teams such as the University of Saskatchewan as well as “REX” U18 Saskatchewan Girls Whitecaps/Provincial Program.

Women’s Selects coach Sarah Hanson said the team played a good final.

“(I’m) really happy with the team play in the final,” said Hanson. “The girls played their most confident game. The confidence built up every game.

“The team played intimidated to begin but confidence grows over the weekend. It was not important to win the tournament. I just wanted the team to be successful.”

Hanson said the team gelled quickly even after incorporating new guest players.

“It was a good challenge incorporating the guest players,” said Hanson. “It adds a different dynamic. The entire team pulled together even though they played together very seldom.”

The team was made up of players ranging from age 15-21. Hanson said the environment was new for some of them.

“Some hadn’t played in that position before,” said Hanson. “This was next level for us. The competition was very good and they were playing more experienced players.

“As well it was a true futsal facility, way different than the gyms we play in back here.”

Hanson said placing well at the tournament was a positive step forward for the program.

“It is still in its infancy,” said Hanson. “It was a first step in building a competitive and professional program.

“We had success in the past but the experienced 20-plus-year-olds are starting families and it is tough to get them to commit.”

The Men’s Selects team finished third after tying 3-3 with Lakeland College in double round-robin play.

The team got goals by Marten Sealy, Alex Hanson, and a guest player.

Sealy acted as player and coach for the weekend and said the team showed improvement every game.

The Men’s Selects team will be headed to Kingston, Ont., this weekend for the Futsal Canadian Championships. It will be the second time the Yukon has sent a team to Kingston to compete.

“We are one of the two smallest contingents so size is not in our favour,” said Sealy. “We’ve been doing a lot.”

At the Prairie Futsal Tournament, the men’s category included the bronze medallist team from last year’s Canadian tournament Olimpia Futsal Team.

“We had two games against Olimpia,” said Sealy. “It was a good opportunity to prep for Kingston. It will help a lot playing a side of that calibre.”

Sealy said Olimpia defeated them in their first game 7-1 but the second game was much closer.

“It will be nice to go in (to Kingston) with a good idea of the level of play,” said Sealy. “We’ve got some video of them playing.”

The team’s first game in Kingston is on April 11 and they will play the AB-Calgary Villains Elite. A few members of the U17 team will also be travelling to Ontario and Macdonald said they have the skills to be key contributors on the team.

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