SIX footballers from Mossley Hollins High School provide the nucleus of the successful Under-15/16 team from the Ashton-based Sala Futsal Club.
Year 10 and Year 11 pupils Bayley and Keano Wassall, Noah Lucas, Charlie Bingley, Jacob Tohill and Charlie Jones have helped Sala move top of the North West Junior Futsal League which has teams from throughout the North of England.
They have won all three matches so far, beating Bolton 10-4, Fylde 4-1 and East Riding 10-5.
The club, started in 2009, has roots in Mossley as its founder Neil Lucas is from the town and his son Noah, 15, is a member of the successful side.
Neil described futsal, which is played on a five-a-side hard court with a small, heavier ball, as the fastest growing sport in the world.
He said: “Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Kevin De Bruyne all grew up playing futsal.
“In Portugal and Spain, football is not on the curriculum, but futsal is played in most primary schools.
“Futsal was derived in the 1930s in South America in inner-city areas where space was limited.
“They had to use what they had, and the ball is heavier and has 30 per cent less bounce.”
Neil, 50, has been coaching futsal since 2007, left his job as an engineer with a national newspaper group in 2009 to go full time into the sport.
He has coached Bolton in the National League and at Manchester United Academy as well as having spells in China and Spain.
Elder son Oscar, 19, also an ex-pupil at Mossley Hollins High School, is an England Under-19 international.
He plays for Bolton who are in Futsal Series Tier 1, the highest level in the country.
Sala Futsal Club trains at Great Academy Ashton and until lockdown also hired the facilities at Mossley Hollins High School. Their home ground is the indoor hall at Wright Robinson Sports College, Gorton.