THE HISTORY OF FUTERA FC
A FOOTBALL TEAM LIKE NO OTHER IN THE HISTORY OF THe BEAUTIFUL GAME.
Starting off as just an idea dreamt up on a Sunday afternoon in a pub in 2009, Futera FC went on a journey from
Sunday League Football to become the first professional team in the world to be managed by their fans when in 2013 Futera Seeker FC joined Thailand's Division 2.
FUTERA FC - THE SUNDAY LEAGUE DAYS
"But could they do it on a cold wet evening in Luton?"
Professional football in Thailand seemed a million miles away when a group of 20 amateur footballers met up on a cold dreary September evening in 2009 for what was Futera FC's first ever training session.
Managed by former Luton Town youth coach Alkesh Lalji and his experienced assistant James 'Jimbo' McGrattan, this was Sunday League Football in all its glory.
With many of the players 'once having a trial for Luton Town', our Goalkeeper Ben 'Champagne' Jarvis struggling to reach 5ft 7 on a size chart and Mitch Pengelly playing in centre midfield because he looked a bit like Andres Iniesta, there were high hopes for the long season ahead.
Although technology didn't quite mirror our ambition, Futera FC was streamed live for 2 years (2010 and 2011) with our fans able to vote on tactics during the game. The video feed was grainy and unstable but somehow it worked.
Players became heroes, wives would receive DM's from fans before the games asking for fitness updates on their husbands and our little Sunday League team suddenly had a loyal following from around the world.
We knew it was a great idea, but no one was ready for what would happen next ...
FUTERA SEEKER FC - GOING PRO.
"A brand new world"
From playing in front of two fans and their dog back in England, it was hard not to pinch ourselves as we walked around the Futera Dome for the first time - our brand new 3000 capacity all-seater stadium in Bangkok!
(NB: it wasn't actually a dome nor officially called the 'Futera Dome’.)
A chance-meeting only months before had led us to fly across the world to beautiful Thailand and launch 'Futera Seeker FC', the world’s first professional football team to be managed by their fans.
It was a new world for us. Interviews and documentaries on mainstream TV, press conferences in fancy hotels, footballers being signed from around the world and rumours flying around social media ... Futera had arrived and it seemed Thailand was pretty excited about it!
Our first game of the season was broadcast live on Thai television. Our team featured an Argentinian, Frenchman, Cameroonian, Ghanaian and a group of talented young Thais, narrowly losing to a Prachuap team who would later go on to become one of the best teams in the country.
Every one of our games was streamed LIVE to thousands of fans worldwide, with commentary in both Thai and English, plus special guest Pundits (including international footballers and coaches) helping our fans choose the best tactics as the games played out on the pitch.
And it worked ... late substitutes scoring last-minute winners, young players given a chance, by our fans, to become first team regulars - a team holding their own in a quality League. We may not have won the League (we finished fourth), but Futera Seeker FC will go down in history as one of the most unique football teams the world has ever seen.