Tell Clive Dinsdale that the future is Futsal and you would be preaching to the converted.

For while the FA has at last officially recognised the indoor football game of Futsal, Clive has been singing its praises for the best part of a decade.

And you can see why.

Recognised by FIFA as the only indoor football game, Futsal is massive is South America, big in Eastern Europe while Italy, Spain and Portugal all have professional leagues.

As Clive says on the website of his club Santos FC: "Futsal is the world indoor game, we in Britain just don't know it yet!"

But one corner of East Lancashire knows all about the game the originates from the beaches of Brazil.

For it was back in the mid-80s that Geoff Payton took a call that was to change the shape of football in Pendle for ever.

Clive said: "Geoff had a phone call from a friend in Australia asking if he could get a team together to play in the unofficial Futsal World Cup. It was all a bit rushed and the players had to fund their own trips but they travelled to Australia and did very well."

They had been bitten by the Futsal bug.

When the squad returned, players went their separate ways and set up their own teams and in 1988, Geoff Payton formed the Pendle Futsal League.

Clive's introduction to the game came two years later. Having played the 11-a-side game for Nelson in the North West Counties League and a very good Vale Weavers in the Pendle Sunday Leaugue, Clive was in a good position to check out the standard of Futsal.

He said: "Back then, there were some very good Futsal players and my only regret is that they did not get the opportunities that are about to arise thanks to the FA's involvement.

"Futsal is the future of the indoor game.

"You have to be quick, skilful and tactically aware. It's not a game for lumbering centre backs."

While Clive may have a few regrets he is by no means bitter at the FA's reluctance to recognise the game.

For Clive has made many friends through the game, travelled across Europe playing and has links across the world.

"When you have played in front of 2,000 fans at the Institute of Sport in Australia or represented your country in the unofficial World Futsal Club Championships then you can't have many regrets.

"But I do feel a bit sorry for those players back then because the ultimate aim for Futsal in this country is to get a national team up and running. Those players more than any deserved to pull on the three lions."

Now aged 45 and with his best playing days behind him, Clive is helping to turn the FA's dreams for the future in to reality.

For as well as being the chairman of the Pendle Futsal League he is also a member of the FA Futsal Development Committee.

Six Conferences have been set up across the country -- with the Pendle Futsal League making up the North West Conference -- with others in Merseyside, Lincolnshire, Yorkshire, Gloustershire and London. The aim is for the top two teams in each Conference to go through to the national finals. The eventual winners will qualify for the Futsal UEFA Cup.

"These are exciting times for the game but there is a lot of work to be done. My aim is to get the structure of the game right here in Pendle then look to expand the game in to other areas of East Lancashire. Blackburn, for instance. There are some very good footballers in the area who probably have never heard of Futsal. We want to educate them."

For the record, Futsal is played with a size four football with reduced bounce and is a five-a-side game with role-on-role-off substitutes.

But unlike the five-a-side game played in leisure centres across the country, Futsal is played out on a marked pitch with touchlines rather than playing off the wall.

The clock is stopped every time the ball goes out of play so a 40 minute game of two 20 minute halves can last up to an hour.

"It is a wonderful game to play and once you do play it you realise how bad the five-a-side game most people relate to is."

But despite its popularity, Clive admits it has had to undergo a major reshuffle in the Pendle area to rekindle interest in the game.

"Futsal has been very popular in the Pendle area for a good few years. At one stage we were the only area in the country playing the game. The unofficial England team always included Pendle players. But the league has suffered a bit of a dip in recent years so my aim as the new chairman is the to get it up and running again."

Another aim for Clive is to promote the game at junior level. At the moment Alan Riley runs a dinner time league at Towneley High School but Clive would like to see every school in the area playing Futsal.

But it is not just players who have been given an opportunity to shine in Futsal -- referees also.

Clive added: "In the coming months we will be holding a series of coaching courses including one for referees. At the moment, there are no FIFA or UEFA recognised British Futsal referees. This is a great opportunity for referees to get on in the game and even get the chance to officiate at some of the big European tournaments."

There is also plans for coaching courses for players, managers and teams.

Closer to home and the Pendle Fustal Summer League kicks off next week and Clive will be looking to mastermind another league title for his talented Santos team -- a team labelled: "Probably the Finest Futsal Club in Britain."

With four league titles in the past five years, numerous cups triumphs to their name and also the honour of being the reigning National Cup Winners, few would argue with Clive.

So it now looks like Clive's wishes have been granted. Pendle has enjoyed it's fair share of Futsal but now it is time for the rest of the country to catch up.

As he says, the future is Futsal. That's unless you live in a certain area of East Lancashire where it has been a part of their history for some time now.

For further details on Futsal contact Clive Dinsdale on 07973 659990.