Last Wednesday, the first team of Zaalvoetbal Vereniging Rotterdamse Studenten (Rotterdam Students Indoor Football Association) (RS) won promotion to the First Division. The team also succeeded last year, but decided to spend another year in the Top Class. Will RS 1 go up this time?

Most of the players either haven’t or are no longer studying at EUR, but the first RS team is a great advertisement for the university. Over the last four years, the indoor football team have already been champions; this year the team bet FC Westland from Naaldwijk in the late season competition. Unlike last year, will RS 1 go up to the second highest Dutch indoor football division? EM asked Felix Verhaar (student at Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences), first team player and chairman of RS Zaalvoetbal.

There seems to be no end to your top performances. Are you surprised that you’ve managed to get this far?

“At the start of the season, it took a while to get going, particularly because my brother Thomas went to Sparta. When we lost his passing shots and goals, we had to change our tactics, but the arrival of four new players gave us a strong and wider selection. Particularly in the second half of the season, when we only lost once (because over half of the players were at training camp with their field football club), everything started to go really well.”

Last year, you decided not to take the promotion. Are we going to see you in the First Division this year?

“Yes, we’ve decided that next season we will go up. In the late season competition, we’ve already shown that we can compete with teams from the First Division, so I feel we have enough quality to go a level higher. Also, the university has said it will provide financial and organisational support, which is obviously great. Next year, we look forward to accepting the challenge.”

In the First Division, you’ll regularly be playing matches a long way away. How will you meet the high costs related to playing at national level?

“Besides the long journeys, there are all sorts of rules which will make next season quite a bit more expensive. For example, at this level you need an extra referee in the arena, and fines of 15 and 30 euros are given for being given yellow and red cards respectively. We’ll also have to train more, which means that RS will have to rent the pitch more often. So it’s going to cost more, but with the help of Erasmus Sport and sponsors, I’m sure we’ll manage.” MvS