Barrow AFC's Community Trust completed their six-week futsal course last week, where the kids that took part were given the chance to learn a sport that has its roots on shores far more tropical than the Furness area.

Futsal is an indoor five-a-side variation of football that is played on a hard court with a slightly smaller and harder ball than is used in the 11-a-side game we all know, giving it a lower bounce and encouraging players to keep it on the floor.

It was created in Uruguay in the 1930s and remains very popular in South America in particular, with Brazil one of the nations to really take it to its heart.

Global stars like Ronaldinho and Neymar honed their skills playing futsal at a young age and the Bluebirds' course at Furness College came with the intention of improving technique.

Community coach Matty Taylor said: "We've been looking at 'ball manipulation,' which is where you keep the ball really close with small touches, using the sole of the foot because that's massive in futsal.

"We've been trying to get them to use both feet and we do lots of skills-based sessions, so at the start of the session we always do activities where they're getting used to being comfortable with the futsal at different parts of their feet, bringing in different skills.

"We put the boys in one-v-ones, where they have to use their body to protect the ball, how to shield it away from other players, how to beat players, so it's been really good and really successful so far."

Millom's Liam Brockbank, who plays for Workington Reds, was recently called up by England's under-21 futsal team and Taylor is hoping that can be used as an inspiration for the youngsters.

He said: "You can definitely get noticed here. We had a lad that came to our futsal sessions and he's now gone into our Performance Centre from coming to these, so that's a good way of pushing the programme."