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London City relocates to Hamilton


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I have zero interest in supporting an unsanctioned/desanctioned league with a history of mysterious betting scandals. Frankly, this "Franchise" serves to hurt Soccer in Hamilton more then it would help, as it is just going to cause confusion and muddy the waters with work that Bob Young and the Ti-Cats are doing to get the CPL off the ground.

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Or on the bright side it could force them to actually do something a little more concrete than leak info through obscure soccer blogs and city council meetings? An L1O entry would be a good start, for example.

Think it was always on the cards that this would happen eventually after the London City franchise got sold to somebody from Hamilton. City grew out of the London German Canadians that are still active in London amateur soccer after they initially were London's team in the NSL, but in recent years haven't been playing at the German Club or "Cove Road Field" as it was referred to in a City context.

The Gauss family (who I think were really from Vojvodina in Serbia originally rather than Stuttgart, although I vaguely remember being told that City's red and white colours were inspired by VfB Stuttgart) sold the NSL franchise to Marconi in the 1980s, so there wasn't an ongoing continuity from the early 1970s despite what was often claimed.

When City was started back up again at the NSL level in 1990 in opposition to the launch of the London Lasers of the CSL it never really generated a following in London's soccer community but stumbled along from year to year regardless often with a team that would have struggled in London's top local amateur league. The arrival of FC London eventually killed off the local media interest that they used to be able to generate, so I doubt they will be missed by many people.

Edited by BringBackTheBlizzard
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On a number of occasions in the past 10 years, I came across London City players playing 3rd division men's rec soccer in the London indoor soccer leagues, and none of them appeared to be head and shoulders above the rest of the top players in those leagues.  With that in mind, you'd be hard pressed to convince people to come out and support a team filled with that caliber of players.

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Heresy from some of my friends (they've played in the CSL) is that Toronto Croatia will not be fielding a team this season. Supposedly, a few others as well.

I just want this league to die. Die to clear up the clusterduck we have in our pyramid. Die rid the stain on Ontario soccer that is the CSL. Die to send a message to the corruption taking place. Die to free up the player pool/get the decent kids in that league out and back on track to something productive.

Its just a dream I have though.

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18 hours ago, Redcoatsforever said:

Hamilton Croatia did the smart thing pulling out. Please don't support the CSL.

I didn't realize that Hamilton Croatia pulled out of CSL. Maybe one day we'll see them join L1O, once there has been enough of a cool-off since leaving CSL (though 5 years might be enough). I hate seeing historic franchises die.

Still sucks seeing Metros-Croatia and the Serbian White Eagles in the CSL, probably complicit in the league's controversies

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41 minutes ago, Complete Homer said:

I didn't realize that Hamilton Croatia pulled out of CSL. Maybe one day we'll see them join L1O, once there has been enough of a cool-off since leaving CSL (though 5 years might be enough). I hate seeing historic franchises die.

Still sucks seeing Metros-Croatia and the Serbian White Eagles in the CSL, probably complicit in the league's controversies

So there are some places L1O needs to go in southern Ontario and Hamilton is one of them, but I disagree about reviving an ethnic centred name into the league even if its for nostalgia.

I believe the current Kingston club in L1O was a former CSL team, so this sort of thing is possible. Although, according to VPjr, to start a team in L1O you need to have a youth academy which I'm not certain Hamilton Croatia has. I also vaguely recall a Quinte/Belleville team that was from the CSL trying to make the switch over to L1O, and IIRC they did not meet the requirements of having a youth program.

 

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21 minutes ago, Pqhbv said:

So there are some places L1O needs to go in southern Ontario and Hamilton is one of them, but I disagree about reviving an ethnic centred name into the league even if its for nostalgia.

I believe the current Kingston club in L1O was a former CSL team, so this sort of thing is possible. Although, according to VPjr, to start a team in L1O you need to have a youth academy which I'm not certain Hamilton Croatia has. I also vaguely recall a Quinte/Belleville team that was from the CSL trying to make the switch over to L1O, and IIRC they did not meet the requirements of having a youth program.

 

I don't think there's anything particularly wrong with an ethnic name, we don't get bent out of shape when a professional team calls themselves the Dayton Dutch Lions (and I say that as a kid of Dutch immigrants). Sure there is a somewhat recent bloody history in the area, but the teams predated all that. 

Maybe one day, in the hypothetical scenario where they actually want to join legitimate league, they could pick something iconic about Croatian culture and centre their name around that instead of the word Croatia itself. "Hamilton Dalmatia" or something? 

Edited by Complete Homer
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  • 3 months later...

London City only had a handful of local players on their team and none that played 3rd division WOSL if I recall correctly. Their London based players were Younan Samra, Gent Miftari, Christian Salamanca, Justin Marques and occasionally featured Brandon Barbosa. The rest were all former internationals from Eastern Europe. However if you were to look at the local player stats, they have all player over seas and if they play WOSL they are amongst the best players in the best clubs like Younan Samara as the current WOSL top scorer with 17 goals and Christian Salamanca racking up the assist mind you he is only 20 or 21, both playing at back to back national and Ontario cup champions Marconi Club. Shame to see London not girl a proper team in the "Lika Supergroup" league. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

London City were around for a long time. What AvrowArrow wrote reflects how things tended to be when the Gauss family were running things. Most top players in London found the lack of payments from City (they were basically an amateur team) and heavy travelling up and down the 401 that was involved off-putting and preferred to play in WOSL premier. FC London have done a better job of getting top London area players on board.

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On 04/04/2016 at 2:32 AM, SthMelbRed said:

Personally, I'd be unlikely to support a team called Croatia, White Eagles, or Dutch Lions. 

The great thing about Canada is that names like these didn't start riots at every match, unlike in Australia which ultimately had to reform it's top league to get rid of the ethnic bs.

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4 hours ago, BCM1555362349 said:

The great thing about Canada is that names like these didn't start riots at every match...

It's not about riots, it's about marketing. You cannot sell "Croatia" or "Dutch Lions" to the general public. Sponsors are not going to be interested if the general public are not interested. All it takes is a minor adjustment that keeps some of the heritage but makes it less specific: "Eagles", "Lions"  etc. are perfectly acceptable names for marketing purposes. The colours and badges that go with the names can reinforce the heritage of the teams without excluding anyone.

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I've never been a fan of the ethnic names on principle.  They're tribal, divisive and bush league.  And back in the 90s or 2000s, when leagues like this were theoretically near the top of our pyramid, I argued vehemently against.  But times have changed.

Now that we have pro clubs in MLS and NASL and USL I'm not sure that having clubs with ethnic names at a level this obscure really matters in the grand scheme of things.

Regional leagues like this will never be well-marketed.  They will never be well-supported through sponsorship or fans.  They exist as a stepping stone for the odd late bloomer and as a place to play competitively for those that never made it.  Fans are only going to watch this stuff if they're related to someone at the club or if it around the corner from them, and it won't matter if they're have Croatia or Polonia or Zippers or Fruitbats on their jerseys.  If a team owner or local social club is willing to financially support an organized soccer operation and having an ethnic moniker is a deal breaker for them then, at this level?  Meh, whatever.  

But my completely unsolicited opinions aside, I just can't believe that anyone "bought" a "franchise" in this unsanctioned league, unless this was one of those sold for $1.00 type transactions.  The league is just such an enigma.  The press releases read like stuff the North Boys used to write.  Long history?  Pro soccer?  A second division of B teams?  Contribution to youth and player development?  Eastern European imports?  Stan is still working for them!

It's been a long way down since the days the CSL used to poach players from the A-League and boasted players like Dino Perri, Phil Caporella, Darryl Holmes, Elvis Thomas, Rick Titus, the Kousmanis brothers, Darren Tilley, Arghittu, Ianero.  And Lalo Maradona.  I remember the year that the Toronto Lynx, eliminated from the playoffs by mid-season, subsequently cut their losses and loaned half their team to the CSL Toronto Olympians.  I mean, Peter Sarantopolous and Eddy Berdusco were bonafide internationals and they played in this league!  Good times.  It is just so fascinating.  What a decline.

Edited by Marc
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