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2013 marks the 30th anniversary of the ill-fated and short-lived Canadian Professional Soccer League. I have spent the better part of last winter's dark nights researching news articles on google to patch together the story of this league in hopes of developing a book to commemorate this league that seems to have faded into the mists of time.

If any members have stories or recollection of this league that they are willing to permit me to include in this project, I would be eternally grateful, and appropriately acknowledge.

Thank you in advance for any support you may be able to provide. Of particular interest would be individuals who were involved in the league, maybe even some players.

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I actually have some programs from the CPSL, basically just line up sheets. Here are the squad lists from the May 27th, 1983 game at Varsity Stadium.

Toronto Nationals; 1.Blaggy Tamindzic 2.Andre Oostrum 3. Dave MacQueen 4. Dan Lenarduzzi 5. H.Gunter Neues 6. Colin Franks 7.Frank Ciaccia

8.Slavko Petrina 9.C.Torres Garces 10.Tony Currie 11.Ed McNally 14.Elio Ciaccia 15.Kevin Grant 16.Sydney Marsh 20.Jens Kraemer 24. John Baretta

James Kussy

Edmonton Eagles:1.Dino Alberti 2.Joe Raduka 3.Randy Samuel 5.Dubravko Ledic 6.Hans Kraay Jr. 7.Hans Granander 8. Carlos Rivas 9.Carlos Marquez

10. Norm Odinga 12.Ross Ongaro 13.Mark Peckham 14.Tony Peszneker 15.Bob Rosenlund 20.Alan Spink 21 Wayne Gordey 22.Tedd Hamilton

25.Jim Barbieri

If I remember correctly the Toronto team did not finish the season. Pretty sure that there was an interesting story in the Toronto Star about the fact that that team owners had no idea what the were investing into.

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As one of the earlier attempts at a nationwide professional league in Canada, the CPSL is a little under-represented in our soccer history. It would be good to know some of the history behind this endeavor such as why the league decide to launch in 1983. In hindsight, the CPSL's timing was off with the NASL's Blizzard, Whitecaps and Manic still playing.

Edited by ray

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Thank you for the info. Yes, the Toronto Nationals (and Inter-Montreal) did not last to see the season through, in fact the league abandoned the schedule a third of the way through the season, once Toronto and Montreal packed it in. Probably the best run CPSL team was the Hamilton Steelers, owned by Mario DeBartolomeo, he would resurrect this team in the Canadian Soccer League in 1987. Including the 1983 CPSL final, the Steelers would play in five Canadian professional championships (1987, 1988, 1989 and 1990 CSL Mita Cup finals), ironically they lost all five (1983 to Edmonton, 1987 to Calgary, and 1988 to 1990 to Vancouver). Of the six CPSL teams, only Hamilton and Mississauga avoided financial fiascos. Players on the league champion Edmonton Eagles reportedly went without pay for the months of June and July and were not paid for their 2-0 championship win over Hamilton on August 2nd, 1983. As you can see there were some interesting goings on in this league, very much out of proportion to the actual period in which it operated.

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I too have been working on a book on this subject and it should be ready and available on Kindle in a few weeks. Keep an eye out for it, it's called 73 Days - The Story of the Canadian Professional Soccer League 1983. I've interviewed a few people involved in the league and I've tried to compile a complete list of fixtures, results and scorers. Basically I'm all ears if anyone out there has information or memorabilia scans (programs, press clippings) they may wish to share that I might have missed. All details no matter how trivial are welcome. 

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I too have been working on a book on this subject and it should be ready and available on Kindle in a few weeks. Keep an eye out for it, it's called 73 Days - The Story of the Canadian Professional Soccer League 1983. I've interviewed a few people involved in the league and I've tried to compile a complete list of fixtures, results and scorers. Basically I'm all ears if anyone out there has information or memorabilia scans (programs, press clippings) they may wish to share that I might have missed. All details no matter how trivial are welcome. 

Looking forward to it, let us know when its released.

 

If they had only attempted this league in 1985 when the original NASL folded maybe things would have been different, maybe not though. This was considered a D1 league correct? And put together or backed by the CSA? Foolhardy to attempt it when the NASL was still operating.

Edited by CDNFootballer

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The book is finished but I'm just waiting on some emails from some of the former players before uploading to Kindle. I guess it was foolish to go up against the NASL although the Montreal franchise officially came into life the very day after it was announced Montreal Manic would become Team Canada. I think they thought Manic's fans would just switch their sizeable loyalties to them and everything would be all right. As far as I can make out the league was officially sanctioned by the CSA in December 1981 but for the life of me I can't any other tangible connection between the two organisations. I can only assume that the CPSL was left to sink or swim without the CSA's direct assistance. I wonder though whether there was a connection between the date of the vote of who would host the 1986 World Cup (20th May) and the league's rather rushed kick off date (21st May).  

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There are eight games where I cannot find out the scorer. My usual sources - Montreal Gazette, Calgary Herald, the Leader Post, Ottowa Citizen, Medicine Hat News and the Lethbridge Herald do not shed any light on these matches. Can anyone out there help? Does anyone have press clippings or old newspapers in their loft. I could really use a Columbo for details about these games. 

 

Wednesday 1st June 

 

                                    Edmonton Eagles      4-1       Mississauga Croatia

Hans Kraay scored one

 

(other scorers not known)

 

Friday 3rd June                     

Hamilton Steelers     1-1       Inter-Montreal

(Hamilton scorer not known)                         Tasso Koutsoukos

Sunday 26th June       Toronto                      2-3       Hamilton Steelers

(scorers not known)

Friday 1st July                      

Hamilton Steelers     4-1       Mississauga Croatia

(scorers not known)

 

Sunday 10th July        Mississauga Croatia 3-2       Hamilton Steelers

(scorers not known)

 

Play-Offs

 

Friday 15th July                    

Hamilton Steelers                 4-1       Mississauga Croatia

(scorers not known)

Sunday 17th                Edmonton Eagles      2-1       Calgary Mustangs

Ross Ongaro 

(other scorers not known)

 

Sunday 24th July        Hamilton Steelers     2-0       Mississauga Croatia

                                                            (scorers not known)

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Posted (edited)

Found a webpage about the 1983 CPSL that's worth a look:

https://thecnsl.com/1983-cpsl/

"Owner: Dr Antun Pavelic" no doubt raised a few eyebrows at the time for people who know a bit about WWII in the Balkans. Had no idea that London and Kitchener teams had been in the works for that.

Edited by Ozzie_the_parrot

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On 5/11/2020 at 8:37 AM, Ozzie_the_parrot said:

Found a webpage about the 1983 CPSL that's worth a look:

https://thecnsl.com/1983-cpsl/

"Owner: Dr Antun Pavelic" no doubt raised a few eyebrows at the time for people who know a bit about WWII in the Balkans. Had no idea that London and Kitchener teams had been in the works for that.

He was a dentist. Pretty sure he is still alive.

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