I can’t believe this article is five years ago now. Back page of one of the biggest newspapers in the country. The story of teen wonder Izaac O’Hara who made the national team at 17.
As a measure of how far recognition and knowledge of the sport has come. It’s interesting that five years later, futsal makes the Dominion Post just for the Regional Finals results. But this time there is no explanation of futsal as there needed to be five years ago. “The two key differences between futsal and football are a smaller and lower bouncing ball, which is easier to control, while there are kick-ins rather than throw-ins.”
And this is the reason I do what I do. Young men like Izaac. Making the national men’s team at 17 can seem like the world at your feet, but ultimately it’s an amateur game in New Zealand. It’s the world cup dream that spurs us on and I hope in the future we have young New Zealanders moving abroad to play professionally. 18 year old Luc Saker has moved to New Caledonia for a year of futsal, and many senior men’s players have had seasons in Australia which is great progress.
So is Izaac a failure? Far from it. Life lessons in sport, these are people more importantly than players. Izaac always had leadership and integrity about him. He always had people’s respect, whether he was the kid in his national team, or the national team star in his school team. I like to think futsal gave him an opportunity to develop, or atleast express and show it.
He was able to lead with few words. Actions first, a silent leader. And so then when he did speak, they listened.
To create opportunities for boys like that is immensely satisfying. And who knows, maybe they can teach me something about leadership too. I talk so much I can’t contain it in real life and it spills messily over into the internet.
Izaac has grown up since, gone onto a career in personal training, and has done so well hes had to release his own brand and personal training business. Proud of you, keep going! His personal qualities are so aligned and suited to personal training so pop him an email if you’re in Wellington.