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TFC to require Academy kids to commit to Canada?


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http://u-sector.ca/wp/2009/11/12/tfc-considers-requiring-academy-players-to-commit-to-canada/

quote:At TFC we’re discussing requiring Academy players to commit to Canada if called. We wont develop a player who turns his back on Canada.

That’s what Toronto FC Business Director Paul Beirne posted to his Twitter account earlier today. It is an astonishingly profound statement to be coming from the club, even if it is merely a one-liner in the “discussion” stages

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Yeah, i noticed that on Twitter.

Nice sentiment. not sure exactly how they can enforce that but I think that TFC, Whitecaps and Impact, simply by investing in youth player development, will help create a stronger pull to Canada for talented young players.

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I'm not a legal guy but didn't we discuss this in another thread and have someone mention that this is done in Australia already and IS legal?

If I remember correctly, (too lazy to search) AIS makes players sign a contract where they have to pay back all training costs if they represent another nation...

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quote:Originally posted by Footscray

I'm not a legal guy but didn't we discuss this in another thread and have someone mention that this is done in Australia already and IS legal?

If I remember correctly, (too lazy to search) AIS makes players sign a contract where they have to pay back all training costs if they represent another nation...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_Institute_of_Sport_Football_%28Soccer%29_Program#National_Representation

That's right. The AIS is a government funded program to develop world class athletes(not just soccer players)for Austraila. I don't think MLSE can legally do the same thing.

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quote:Originally posted by futsal

Not legal, won't happen. Mind you most players on the Academy are Canadian so it shouldn't be too much of an issue.

Except it has already happened with Ricardo Ferreira leaving TFC Academy U16's in the fall of 2008 to join FC Porto U17 and subsequently representing Portugal at the U17 level last year.

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Australian athletes receive four times the funding Canadians do and are supported by a large progressive and performance-oriented infrastructure. Perhaps instead of predatorily blackmailing kids like clubs in Africa we should be thinking about treating elite athletes like elite athletes.

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quote:Originally posted by futsal

Not legal, won't happen. Mind you most players on the Academy are Canadian so it shouldn't be too much of an issue.

It may not be legal, but if there is a way to create a Canada-first culture then the sentiment is the right one.

As for the Academy kids being Canadian, as someone else said, so were all of the defectors. That's the point.

quote:Originally posted by Vic

Australian athletes receive four times the funding Canadians do and are supported by a large progressive and performance-oriented infrastructure. Perhaps instead of predatorily blackmailing kids like clubs in Africa we should be thinking about treating elite athletes like elite athletes.

That's an issue for the government, not the clubs.

Clubs all over the world put pressure on its players regarding their national service. Hell, see the DeVos story on Begovic for evidence of that.

If the Canadian clubs start encouraging their Canadian players to play for Canada, I'd simply consider that as part of the growing up process that the sport is going through in this country.

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quote:Originally posted by Vic

Perhaps instead of predatorily blackmailing kids like clubs in Africa we should be thinking about treating elite athletes like elite athletes.

No.... I call this a good example of the club(s) and national associations working together for mutual benefit. The club is contributing resources to develop these kids, the National associations assist in the process ( and club)by further running camps and exposing the players and promting the talent through inrtnational competition which further helps the club and the players. All this costs money and is an investment on the part of the of club and country.

But it does no damn good to anybody if the player jumps ship. Who is going to give back all that money that the club and the National body spent on developing the player. Its called protecting your assets. And Kudos to TFC for introducing this. Whether this is enforceable is another question but I appluad the effort.

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Legally enforcable or not some people if not all, are decent enought to understand and respect a moral obligation.

Some influence could perhaps also be achieved by stipulating a requirement to repay development and associated costs incurred by the club should an player who signs a contract with TFC to benefit from their academy program opt to play for a country other than Canada. Not infallible to be sure.

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quote:Originally posted by Saviola7

But this won't affect most of the defectors thus far right since most players don't get called into the Senior team until after their academy days.

Well, I could argue otherwise. Maybe it wouldn't have affected a player like Begovic. But if the academies would have been available at the time of when the others were in the developmental stage of their career, then they might have found themselves developing here rather than overseas.

Those players started leaning to othet nationals sides long before they became senior players

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quote:Originally posted by jpg75

Except it has already happened with Ricardo Ferreira leaving TFC Academy U16's in the fall of 2008 to join FC Porto U17 and subsequently representing Portugal at the U17 level last year.

He left the TFC academy though. Someone who is brought up thoroughly through the system shouldn't be a problem. Anyhow, like Futsal said, this isn't a big problem to begin with, but a nice rule never the less.

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There's definately some things that could come with strings attached. Accepting sport Canada money for example. Pretty simple condition, you want free training and access to resources, we want to you to work towards our goals. Send everybody else a fat bill for the services if they do anything stupid.

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However it plays out, the sentiment just being expressed makes me even more impressed with Toronto FC and the impact they have had on Canadian soccer. I think their support surpassed even most Voyageurs expectations and there has been a positive carry over for the nats. Reinvesting in the facility -ie grass- will benefit the national program immensely and now actually promoting a patriotic Canada first player development model. Feels like between them and the Caps that the future is as bright as it has ever been in my not so long memory.

Hope it does come to fruition too, I have no problem with players like Bircham never playing for Canada but guys who received a significant portion of their training in Canada should have a moral obligation and sadly alot aren't decent enough to respect it.

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I think it is in TFCs (and all North American Clubs) interest to have their players doing international duty in this neck of the world as opposed to long transatlantic flights...the reverse, I suppose, of what young Canucks are faced with when they are in Europe. So definitely a bit of self interest coming to the for and perhaps, a bit of a marketing element as well given recent events. It probably doesn't hurt that Canada appears to have been working somewhat with TFC in terms of player selection. Nevertheless, Kudos are indeed in order, and I trust that Montreal and Vancouver will follow suite (or continue if they already are).

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Sounds to me like an opportunistic publicity comment. I don't think any club in the world would ever make such a brazen request of its players. Any academy should look to train the best players for the big club regardless of their nationality. Naturally, and club will develop more players from home because those players are most accesible. A TFC academy(with this foolish requirement or without it) will benefit TFC, and as a result, will benefit the Canadian National Team.

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I think that this is a great idea. Even just the expressed sentiment, if repeated by academy coaches, can create a culture of patriotism that is so often lacking in Toronto. Sometimes, it is not cool to be Canadian. You get the "no, what are you really?" because some think that German, Italian and Portuguese are real identities and Canadian is not. Too much "Multiculturalism", at the expense of "Melting-Pot" and ingrained patriotism means that many insist on a hyphened identity.

There was a purely Canadian born/raised kid of Carribean background in my grade in elementary school (in Pickering) who I hung out with but then did not see until many years later in highschool (in Whitby). By then, he was only hanging out with other black kids and using a strong Jamaican accent that only I knew was fake so he stayed away from me. When my sister recognized him and instantly called him out on the accent, he had to shush her and walked her away from his friends to explain that they all thought he was from Jamaica (which, apparently, is really cool) so that was his new social identity. Lots of GTA kids feel like this and any players who have the chance to play-up the heritage angle over boring Canada can feel pressured to go for distinctiveness.

This rule may or may not be legal (signed written contracts should work), but would be easily enforceable. TFC can get cut playing time and even get rid of an academy player at any time and for any reason. In 2008, they threw out two U-18 players for crap their parents did - just to set an example and scare the other players' parents into behaving. Having been to an academy U-18 game earlier that year and heard the parents, it was the right move.

A "must go if called" rule would be great, and even if they are years away from playing a senior cap-tying game, TFC's U-16 and U-18 teams will see plenty of call ups to U-17 and U-20 squads. This becomes habit forming and they develop friendships with NT members from other clubs. It also keeps them away from other countries youth squads at these decisive ages. Most senior NT coaches would be wary of offering a spot and some playing time for official (cap-tying) senior NT games to a kid that their national system doesn't know too well.

TFC mostly draws academy players from Toronto and the GTA. While that includes heritage from every country imaginable, as far as soccer goes, alot of it is from european countries - particularly Italy and Portugal, but with German, Dutch, Greek and of course British backgrounds as well. With the possible exception of Greece, it is hard to see someone walk off a Canadian U-20 squad and onto one of the above mentioned senior squads for a cap-tying game. It is those with a Caribbean background that we have to worry about.

I hope that all three Canadian clubs do this. A refusal to ever sign traitors (like Begovic and The Whore - there is still that outside shot with Judas DeGuzman) would also send a clear message that there are serious and potentially career-limiting consequences for treason.

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quote:Originally posted by Macksam

He left the TFC academy though. Someone who is brought up thoroughly through the system shouldn't be a problem. Anyhow, like Futsal said, this isn't a big problem to begin with, but a nice rule never the less.

One year or not, he was still given an opportunity by the club, took it and then left for greener pastures and decided to represent another country in the process.

Obviously when MLS clubs start signing youth players to contracts like the Whitecaps and 90% of the world do then this problem will be less of an issue. In the meantime, i'm all for TFC enforcing Canadian pride in their youth academy.

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quote:Originally posted by futsal

Not legal, won't happen. Mind you most players on the Academy are Canadian so it shouldn't be too much of an issue.

Days after the defection of Jacob the liar, people were saying that we need to change the mentality of the players. Following that logic, which of course I agree, this is the best decision from TFC.

BTW, I don't think it's a coincidence to make this move one week after the defection of Jacob the liar. Thank you TFC.

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