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Credit where credit is due


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Inspired by Duane over at The 24th Minute (http://24thminute.blogspot.com/2008/12/24th-minute-awards-person-of-year.html), I just wanted to thank all of the Vs who dedicated their time, passion and money to creating the unprecedented level of excitement around the MNT this year. There are a few of you who went way above and beyond the call of duty in terms of organizing efforts (you know who you are, I'm sure). Your efforts helped create truly memorable times in Toronto and Montreal (and, I'm sure, Edmonton, though I wasn't there personally) and have helped convince plenty of newer Vs, such as myself, that this cause is one that's worthy of our long-term blood, sweat and commitment (the tears go without saying).

So, again, thanks to everyone for your hard work, and here's hoping 2009 is a happy new year for us all.

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i would have to agree with this. we talked early about getting people to buy up tickets in toronto and it happened. the support was amazing and vpjr buying up all those tickets was the best!

what we have learned form this is: in the future, if everyone does their part, we can make this a much harder place for visiting teams to play.

we have 4 years to prepare now so lets start thinking about it.

congrats dino and dwayne! much deserved!

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oh i just want to mention as a side note that montreal is in need of some help trying to organize more support for canada when they play there. we will more than likely only get maybe 500-1000 people from toronto (and surrounding areas - including out of town/province support)

any thoughts daniel? or some of you other guys from montreal/quebec?

could corporations/organizations buy tickets and give them away with a retail purchase? maybe over $200? or at gas stations when you spend over $200 in a month? who knows... it seems like more youth has to get involved or if you had an endorsement of sorts - maybe saku koivu attends matches (as good will from the habs)?

how about saputo cheese? maybe they could help get tickets to youth soccer players/families.

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It was a year of 'firsts' for The Voyageurs, and I want to take a few minutes to thank a number of individuals that made a number of major Voyageurs achievements this year possible:

After months of ongoing negotiations between the Voyageurs and a number of different groups and individuals, the Voyageurs Cup was elevated to an all new status, essentially becoming Canada's de facto national league, with nationally televised matches. No small achievement and far exceeding everyones expectations. I remember speaking to an official with the Montreal Impact prior to the tournament, who stated "they hoped for maybe 5000 attendance per game." The matches resulted in a huge success at the box office for all the clubs, most being sold-out in advance. Fans in all cities, regardless of league or team have stated that their league matches are now secondary to The Voyageurs Cup.


It was the first time in my memory that I witnessed the CSA working with different professional clubs from different leagues towards a common goal. It marks one of the very few occasions in Canadian soccer where everyone came out a winner. I would like to thank a number of individuals and groups for working with the V's towards this common goal, putting aside petty gripes for the common good of the game in Canada. Bob Lenarduzzi of the Vancouver Whitecaps, Paul Beirne of Toronto FC, Joey Saputo of the Montreal Impact, Peter Montopoli, John Billingsley of the CSA, were all essential for the successful launch of the 2008 Voyageurs Cup. All negotiated in good faith and the clubs gave us their full backing. The club supporter groups all worked with us, publicly voicing for the elevation of The Voyageurs Cup. Kudos to the U-Sector (Rudi & Sean), Ultras Montreal (Grizzly & Daniel), Red Patch Boys (Jack & Travis) and Southsiders (Vancouver Fan & B&W Army). And despite the tense friction between some of these groups as evidenced during the Voyageurs Cup, everyone dropped their differences when it came time to support Canada.



The supporter groups that are officially working with the Voyageurs have all agreed to have a permanent stickied link to our forum. This has led to increased traffic to our site and has certainly contributed to our ranks as well as fostered a solid working relationship with these groups and their members. The groups that are officially working with us: North End Elite, U-Sector, Red Patch Boys, Toronto Ultras, Southsiders.

It also marked the first time that The Voyageurs had our own designated supporter sections for all games, regardless of stadium or province. A number of problems were experienced with Admission in Montreal, and certainly this was a steep learning curve for all involved, from the V's to the CSA, Ticketmatster, provincial bodies, stadiums, etc.....

This is one area that we must continue to strive for improvements. That said, it was an improvement that progressed light years. Again, I want to thank Tanya from the CSA, who accommodated 90% of our requests. Most importantly, to the club groups and individuals that not only worked with the Voyageurs, but as part of the Voyageurs, to insure that all our home matches had a strong Canadian presence. Also to all our local organizing groups and individuals in the three different cities that hosted the gatherings, marches, ticket purchases, etc... Despite a few minor snags, this was a major success.

I would also like to thank Morgan Quarry, Canada's Manager, who bent over backwards to accommodate our requests.

Brother Cheeta was put under the gun on a number occasions and scrambled to have the code released with short notice and was tasked with insuring that our registered member list was kept clean of opposing fans, spam, etc. Prior the the St Vincent match, our forum had approximately 800 registered members, and despite our disastrous showing on the field, now numbers over 3000. Cheeta continues with this task. Cheeta also sends out the Voyageurs Flyers (if you haven't received a couple in the past couple of weeks, drop him a line.

BrennanFan was tasked with a number of fundraising projects involving Voyageurs funds, and all of these projects came off without snags. Martin can tell you that these things (like most things on here) are far more work than most realize. Banners, flags, scarves were produced, megaphones purchased. All our projects resulted in the V's staying out of the red, accounting kept clean with all money spent and the V's now have a number of additional items.

The transfer of the forum has taken place from Jarrek to Speedmonk. Speedmonk will be introducing a number of improvements to our website in 2009. Our site has been in limbo for far too long and is nothing short of an embarrassment. This is another issue of high priority for 2009.

A number of people have contacted me regarding the interview with Peter Montopoli of the CSA that I had arranged a couple of months ago. I have since had a number of pressing family matters arise over the past few weeks, so Ed had graciously agreed to conduct the interview on behalf of the Voyageurs. Ed has had some trouble getting this rolling with the CSA, but Peter contacted me last week to assure me all the delays were legit (blizzards, conflicting schedules, etc) and the interview is still a go in the New Year.

Nowhere for the Voyageurs to go but up. The foundation has been laid and it is solid. Our strategic alliances and relationships are strong. We are all dissapointed by Canada's showing, but YOU have all changed the face of the game in Canada forever. And no, I am not exaggerating. We have moved and changed forever the face of the professional and international game in Canada. I remember the faces of the Jamaican fans when they saw us coming down the street and in BMO Field. They **** their pants ! I was most proud when I saw the RDS feed of the pre-game between Canada and Honduras in Montreal. The Voyageurs, a red wedge, marching into a sea of Honduran blue. It looked like the Charge of the Light Brigade ! (blue to the left of me, blue to the right of me....you get the picture:))


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