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Canadian Soccer Summit Proposal


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Dear President Sharpe, dear friends in Canadian Soccer,

As was extensively touched upon in lively discussions at the ASA Coaches Symposium surrounding the World Cup qualifier in Edmonton a few weeks ago, there appears to be a definite need for a "Canadian Soccer Summit". Such an event would not only bring technical people together, but function as a forum for soccer administrators, Corporate Canada representatives, media and technical soccer experts alike to engage in comprehensive discussions as to how to improve the situation of Soccer in Canada.

As such an event will undoubtedly require significant lead time and planning efforts, I would like to respectfully offer on behalf of the Saskatchewan Soccer Association that we would be delighted to host the inaugural "Soccer Summit" in May of 2005 surrounding the CSA AGM in Regina.

As this idea stems from the discussions held only in the recent past, we obviously do not have a finalized concept available that we could present to you at this point, but rather approach this issue with the clear understanding that much improved communication and cooperation between all key stakeholders in the soccer community is required to elevate the game to the international quality level that we have to aspire to be at.

This e-mail is only intended to start a discussion on this idea and ultimately determine if, when, where and how such a Summit could be facilitated.

The SSA welcomes your feedback on this idea, especially to determine in how far May 11th-15th, 2005 might be a suitable date to bring all the key people together.

If you would like to bring your feedback to my attention at coo@sasksoccer.com, I will be delighted to summarize the information and

present a draft concept to the CSA for its approval.

Please also feel free to forward this suggestion to other soccer enthusiasts

you feel should be part of this process.

Thank you very much.

Yours in Soccer,

Bjorn Osieck

Executive Director

Saskatchewan Soccer Association

1870 Lorne Street

Regina, Saskatchewan

S4P 2L7

Phone: (306) 780-9225

Fax: (306) 780-9480

E-mail: coo@sasksoccer.com <mailto:coo@sasksoccer.com>

Please visit our website at www.sasksoccer.com <http://www.sasksoccer.com> !

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What I want to know is what was discussed so lively at the ASA Coaches Symposium and by whom? Is there some indication that there exists somewhere within the ranks of Canadian football a body of people who feel that there is something quite wrong with how things are being done here in Canada with regards to developing and promoting soccer? Especially to the point where a soul searching summit is required to address the preceived problems?

I just ask because you know what? The Wee Elf's little crystal ball just happens to be near at hand and I foresee the AGM winding up with Andy Sharpe declareing yet another highly successful year from the CSA. Despite some bumps in the road (Aviator fiasco, MNT bombing out in the 1st round of qualifying) another absolutely stellar year for footie lovers in Canada. Greatest number of Canadians playing high level European football. New Varsity getting off the ground. World Youth Cup coming to Canada. More kiddies than ever playing football for 2 months of the summer. Kevin Pipe getting his 1st blow job in 22 years from a drunk hooker in a Toronto cab in July. So on and so forth.

And what's this? I see the CSA declaring that it'll be focussing it's energy on encouraging the further expansion of the A-League in Canada (as if it wouldn't happen without that), the New Varsity project, and the upcoming Youth World Cup. Thank goodness the whole WCQ disappointment can be laid to rest. Bad new isn't good for business. And as soon as New Varsity is up and running, we'll get some home dates for the mens NT. Soon. We promise. By 2010 WCQ for sure.

Stiring applause from all in attendance.

Fade to black.

I'll admit I don't know how to operate this thing and if the Wee Elf were awake she could tell me if I'm doing everything or anything right or wrong. Crystal balls can be tricky. We'll have to wait and see.

But I'll guess if the people who were discussing so lively at the ASA Coachs Symposium were just a bunch of local coachs analysing why ticket sales were so poor for the upcoming WCQ and lamenting the lack of real interest in football in Edmonton, then there ain't gonna be no summit. And it wouldn't take no 2nd hand crystal ball gazing to guess the script for the final address at next years CSA AGM.

But otherwise, yeah. What The Ref wrote. Sorry for being so cynical. Rant out.

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quote:Originally posted by Luis_Rancagua

What about discussing the issue of a pro-league??? I really hope that this issue be at least mentioned at the conference. Or perhaps ask the CSA if they have any plan of perhaps visiting certain concepts of the CUSL.

Bjorn Osiek's approach is excellent, and I think the concept of the Soccer Summit is a good one no matter the state of soccer in Canada. Even if everything was rosy, we should still hold an annual Soccer Summit. How to make it a productive affair is another question, but I am sure smart people will figure that out. Willingness to participate at all levels will be tantamount to success, and I hope the bureaucrats have the humility to play ball.

Kudos to Bjorn for proposing the summit and for offering to host it next year.

Best wishes on this very good idea.

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Correct, Beaver. It is a very good idea.

I think a major goal of this proposed summit should be a discussion with the corporate sector on how to get them more involved in player development and how they could benefit. The CUSL was tried but I think it was a bridge too far and remains out of reach at this point. However, there are other less costly projects that could be examined. There are hundreds of thousands of kids playing soccer and as they progress the top players need places to play. Efforts toward an upgraded CSA academy or sponsorship of PDL/W-League franchises should be on the agenda. It seems interest in the game is increasing (looking at the amount of soccer on TV and registration numbers) and the trend seems poised to continue. With the FIFA World Youth Championship awarded to Canada, it seems an excellent time to get the business community involved at a level where Canada has been doing well. Well, that's just my view. There are plenty of other themes a soccer summit could explore.

Kudos to Bjorn Osieck for his iniative. I hope the CSA has the vision and courage to take him up on it.

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