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Former Sala Soccer Star Shines For Bury
Tuesday 7th June 2016 @ 13:27 by Mark Phillip
Football Sports

Sala Soccer Schools founder Neil Lucas believed it was only a matter of time before Callum Styles made his professional Football League debut.

Callum, 16, became the first millennium baby to feature in the Football League after making his debut for Bury in the Shakers 3-2 win over Southend on Sunday, May 8.

According to Neil, during his time with Sala, the teenager displayed the ‘right attitude and technical brilliance’ to reach professional standard.

Speaking to Report Sport, Neil reflected on Callum’s four-year tenure with Sala. He said: “I was absolutely delighted when I heard Callum was going to make his professional debut for Bury in May.

“In my opinion, Callum had all the right attributes to succeed in football: technically brilliant; a great attitude and a desire to succeed.

“He’s a really nice kid who’s fully supported by his family.”

Such was Callum’s quality in the futsal arena, Neil believes a career in the sport isn’t beyond the realms of possibility. He added: “During his stay with Sala, Callum came on two trips to Spain with us.

“There were scouts from Barcelona looking at him, and I truly believe that he could pave a futsal career if football doesn’t work out.”

That’s not to say things won’t work out.

In fact, Neil is confident that a crop of his current players will eventually sign professional terms. He said: “We recently entered two teams into the Manchester Futsal Club Tournament.

sala under 14's

“I’m delighted to say that both the Under 12’s and Under 14’s were crowned winners of their respective age groups.

“It’s been great to see a number of players who were released by Liverpool enjoying their football again.

“Sala provides them with a platform to attract the attention of professional clubs, so I’m really confident that a number will eventually make it.”

sala under 12's

Catering for a whole spectrum of ages, Sala seeks to develop the technical aspects of players from 18months and above.

Of the 400 children who attend Neil’s classes per week, 200 of them are little strikers. Neil added: “We have a group of players aged 18 months to five-years-old.

“These are described as ‘the little strikers’.

“Basically, I try to help them form basic movements, such as jumping, hopping and skipping.

“We also try a little bit of ball manipulation which will help them massively when they’re older.”

When Neil isn’t on futsal duty, you might well find him at Stalybridge Celtic.

As the Under 10’s manager, Neil attempts to incorporate aspects of futsal into the beautiful game. He said: “The proper football season has ended now, so we’ve entered the East Manchester Summer Football League to maintain fitness and enjoyment.

“We’ll also be taking part in lots of futsal in order to improve the technical ability of players.”

Recently appointed as the Vice Chairman of Celtic, Neil is urging any local business to sponsor the Under 10’s training kit. He concluded: “Mossley Tax Shop has sponsored the playing kit, but we’re in need of someone to sponsor the training kit.

“Sala are also on the lookout for sponsorship, so if anyone is interested in doing so, please feel free to contact me.”

Neil’s twitter account can be found at the following: @salasocceruk