Hendon duo in action for England at European Six-a-side Championships in Hungary
- Credit: Archant
Hendon duo Scott Cousins and Sam Murphy are aiming to guide England to their best ever performance at the European Six-a-side Championships later this week.
Along with ex-Dons player Rob Ursell, first-team coach Cousins is in joint charge of an England squad that includes Greens midfielder Murphy at the tournament in Hungary.
The pair have already helped England to qualify for the last 16 with wins over Cyprus and Greece, with the knockout stages due to get under way today (Thursday).
And Cousins, who is also a member of the playing squad, is hopeful that England can improve on their previous best showing at the tournament – a quarter-final spot in Crete in 2013.
“Each year it’s got bigger but we’ve got the strongest team we’ve ever had, so I think we’ve got a good chance of doing well,” said Cousins.
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“Romania have never lost – they’ve won the championship five years in a row and they’re really strong. If you beat them, you’ve got a good chance of winning it.
“When they asked me to become coach I had a say on which players I wanted to bring in. Sam, with his futsal background, is excellent at small-sided football, so I wanted to get him involved straight away.”
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Matches are played on an artificial surface, with rolling substitutions, but the ball can be played above head height and there are no perimeter boards.
“It’s high-intensity and you have to switch your focus because all the tactics and set pieces are completely different to 11-a-side,” added Cousins. “Maybe me being away at the moment might bring Hendon a bit of luck as well!”
However, the coach’s absence did not coincide with the Greens’ first win of the season as they fought out a 1-1 draw at home to Burgess Hill Town on Tuesday.
Daniel Thompson put the visitors ahead but summer signing Karl Oyilide snatched a late equaliser.