Angel Martinez stunned Blackpool’s ‘futsal’ squad this week by joining them in training.
The Spanish midfielder called in at South Shore Academy to watch the new style of indoor football which is growing in popularity.
Futsal originates in Portugal and is basically five-a-side with a smaller, heavier ball.
The focus is on control and skill, and the sport is close to Martinez’s heart.
“Whenever I get the chance I play futsal, especially in the summer,” he said. “In Spain it’s a very popular and important sport.
“After football and basketball, it’s one of the most popular sports.
“Futsal is great. You don’t need to run around so much but you do need a good technique and plenty of talent.”
Pool’s futsal side is made up of students on an education scheme ran by the club’s Community Trust.
Head of community Ashley Hackett explained: “We offer BTEC qualifications in the same way colleges do.
“As part of their studies the students become part of Blackpool FC’s futsal side.
“They train for six hours a week and have around 12 hours of education.”
Hackett said the presence of Martinez at one of the three weekly training sessions gave everyone a massive boost.
“The lads have been buzzing all week,” he said. “He’s promised to come down again, which is brilliant for all of us.”