Hidden Hearing are the main sponsors of the Irish Women’s Futsal team throughout the European Championships. The team have been training hard in recent weeks for the tournament, after qualifying in January of this year. They will be based in Tampere, Finland for the duration of the Championships. Hidden Hearing managing director Stephen Leddy (pictured below) went to meet the squad and wish them the very best of luck before they began the journey.
What is futsal?
Futsal was established for ladies in Ireland in 2006 and for men the following year. According to Deaf Sports Ireland , it is the newest and fastest growing sport for those who are deaf and hard of hearing. Players have the chance to compete at both regional and international level. Futsal is a modified form of soccer played on a hard court, smaller than a football pitch, and mainly indoors. It is played with 5 players on each side, one of whom is the goalkeeper, and there is no limit on substitutions.
Results so far
The team began the championship on December 7th last against Spain, losing 5-2 after a tight and entertaining game. Next up was a strong German side on the 8th, resulting in an 8-5 loss; but the team did not lose their fighting spirit! The Irish ladies came out on top against Norway the following day, with an impressive score line of 6-1.
This result means that the Republic of Ireland have now qualified for both the quarter finals against England and the World Cup Finals in November 2019. But this was not their only success; the squad also made history as Aisling Hanly became the youngest player to have scored at the European Championships  aged just 14.
Keep up to date
The quarter-final against England will be played on Tuesday at 10:30am Irish time. Take a look at @deafsportsireland on Facebook to keep up to date with the teams progress.
Republic of Ireland Squad: Denise Doran, Kirsten Kelly, Emma O’Higgins, Emma Barrow, Laura Clarke (c), Catherine Grier, Rebekah Grant, Sabrina Hanley, Shauna Hamilton, Helen Ward, Beth Kelly, Jade Grant
 Irish Deaf Women’s Futsal Team 2017 on Facebook