UNITED AS ONE 
 
Maidenhead United Futsal Club can confirm that Fernando Silva has stepped down from his role due to personal reasons. 
 
Founding Reading Futsal Club in 2013 Silva has led the club through three name changes and seen the club grow at all levels. 
 
Since the creation of the club, it has transitioned and grown enormous amounts and there is not a role at the club that Silva has not undertaken. 
 
Fernando Silva’s tireless work for his club, players and community is something that anyone who knows him will always mention. 
 
Currently the Women’s team manager and club chairman, Fernando Silva has also overseen the club’s academy and men’s side in his 10-year tenure. Offering thousands of kids and adults the opportunity to play futsal, not just in Berkshire but across wider regions. 
 
Club top scorer, Josh Gillespie, was one of many Fernando had infected with a love for futsal. Gillespie mentioned: “When I first turned up at the club, I had little experience or knowledge of the game, but something about Fernando’s passion gripped me and I had to know more. 
 
“Since then, I have fallen in love with the game that he had a big role in teaching me and with the club that he created and developed into what it is today – one of the best in the country.” 
 
He continued: “I know that I’m not the only person who Fernando has given the opportunity to love the game to, in fact, there are probably thousands that he has coached and influence over the years, but I am very grateful to have been one of them.” 
 
In his time as a coach for the academy at the club as Reading Royals, Silva organised trips to international tournaments in Spain and Belgium which gave inspiration to everyone that went on these tours as they experienced futsal where it was more than just ‘indoor football’. 
 
Current men’s first team player and academy graduate, Jacob Evans remembers how beneficial these tournaments were for his own and his teammates development: “When we went away the quality of teams our age were a different level, probably the quickest learning curve we’ve ever had as a group. 
 
“Coming back from that tournament we started to beat all the adult teams we played against – it really took our game to the next level.” 
 
Current Women’s team captain, Sarah Thompson, said: “Fernando has coached us tirelessly throughout, with his dedication and commitment being second to none. 
 
“I genuinely think I could count on one hand the number of sessions he missed. 
 
“He would often come straight from work, only just finishing but always with a passion and energy for futsal.” 
 
Jamie Fahey, a former coach at the club, is another one of many who fell in love with Futsal because of Silva. 
 
Silva’s ethos has had a long-lasting effect on those who he coached. Fahey said: “My youth players – all now adults – still talk about the excitement of walking out to the Champions League theme tune in his league matches. 
 
“It’s all part of what I call ‘the Fernando way’.” 
 
Anyone that has played under Silva will be able to relate in a personal way to what Fahey means when he talks about ‘the Fernando way’. From not wearing your indoor futsal shoes outside to training while listening to Portuguese music. 
 
Silva’s expertise were not just off the court when coaching, but when playing on the court he was a threat! Jamie Fahey remembers a skill he calls ‘the Fernando pause’ which frequently came out in training, saying that: “I learned the hard way that Fernando could play, and his pause skill became legendary on training as he dominated possession effortlessly.” 
 
“The ball was like his enduring legacy. It's impossible to take it away from him.” 
 
Another trick Silva had in his locker was his iconic ‘sole roll’, he would appear to stop on the ball before rolling forward again leaving you behind with a short burst of acceleration – although he will admit himself that the acceleration has got slower over the years! 
 
Rich Oxley, men’s team manager and club chairman, expressed his gratitude to Fernando and how he was so fortunate to have found Fernando early in his futsal journey. Rich said: “Fernando introduced me to the culture of the futsal and with such a knowledge and passion for the sport. Fernando gave me an understanding of futsal and ignited a love for futsal that remains strong. I do not think I am alone in this.” 
 
Thompson summed up perfectly how many who have met Fernando Silva feel about him. She said: “Fernando has been more than a just a coach to me, more than that, he has been a great friend and one of the most marvellous people I have had the pleasure to playing for.” 
 
From building a club from the ground up, Silva leaves the club having left one hell of a legacy – he certainly created a club to be proud of. 
 
Everyone at Maidenhead United would like to thank Fernando Silva for his endless contributions and wish his family all the best for the future. 
 
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