Faye Williams' journey to the World Deaf Futsal Championship
England Deaf Women Futsal international discusses her journey from starting out at Sedlescombe Rangers FC to being selected for the World Deaf Futsal Championship
Faye Williams had not played futsal before her talent was spotted by Chris Day at the age of 12. Now she is set to represent her country for the same coach at the World Deaf Futsal Championships this weekend.
Williams’ football journey started on the playground of her primary school at break and lunchtimes before joining her first club, Sedlescombe Rangers FC, at the age of five.
It was at a disability schools’ tournament at the age of 12 that her talent was recognised by Day, who at that point was working for what is now called the Brighton & Hove Albion Foundation.
Williams started attending Albion In The Community’s Disability Talent Hub’s weekly sessions where she was first introduced to futsal while playing in the men’s hearing impairment team.
With the youngster aged just 12 and most of the boys in their mid-to-late teens, Williams admits it was a challenge at first but she continued to develop and was eventually invited onto the FA’s National Emerging Talent Programme.
Her first senior call-up came at the age of 18 and after the COVID pandemic halted her progress somewhat, she was part of the England Deaf Women Futsal side who won the EUROs in Italy last year.
Williams said: “I remember that first proper tournament when I was 12 years old well. I scored loads of goals and assisted loads of goals and it was there when Chris Day scouted me.
“I remember being really nervous for my first England camp as it was quite a lot for me at the time.
“I settled in quite well though because I was quite friendly with some of the girls anyway and they helped me get through my first few camps.
“As futsal became more of a thing for the England Deaf Women team, I started going away to Deaf Champions League tournaments and that is where the friendships grew.
“I love futsal because it is fast-paced and it requires a lot of technical ability – I love that part of the game.”
England Deaf Women Futsal squad
Now England are going in search of gold at the World Deaf Futsal Championships in Brazil, with the tournament set to run from this Friday until November 19.
Williams and her England team-mates have been training hard at St. George’s Park and Lilleshall National Sports Centre in preparation for the tournament in Brazil.
And she said: “Our preparations could not have gone better and I am feeling really confident in my team-mates – I trust them all of the way.
“It is a tournament I have been waiting for for so long. I can’t wait to get going.
“I am confident heading into it because I have played in a lot of Deaf Champions League tournaments leading up to it and winning the EUROs with England last year helps.
“Playing for the England Deaf Women Futsal team is a real privilege.”