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Found 5 results

  1. I’ve often told the story about how the first soccer game I remember watching in its entirety was the high water mark of the Canadian men’s national team – the infamous day in St. John’s when a bunch of hosers qualified for the World Cup for the first and only time. I’m the anti-Drake. I started from the top and now I’m here. However, that’s not the first soccer memories I have. Growing up in a family with British heritage (my grandmother was born in Bristol, England, and I have family in the UK to this day), I was exposed to all sorts of English culture from a young age. I eat beans on toast, watch Doctor Who (although I picked that habit up as an adult – On The Buses and Are You Being Served? were more of my childhood staples) and, most relevant to here, have always had an affinity to sports played in the UK. Had soccer been on television more often in the early 80s, I’m sure my young self would have watched it. I know that I was aware of it though and I spent a great deal of time learning about British sporting heroes. I was likely the only person in my elementary school who knew who Sebastian Coe was. I also knew who Wayne Gretzky was, obviously, because try as I might my English heritage was never going to overshadow my Canadian upbringing. Thus, when I stumbled upon that game in St. John’s oh so many years ago it was like a light-bulb went off in my head. Finally I had found something that was totally and completely mine – something that combined all aspects of my evolving self-identity into a single thing that was new and exciting and that spoke to a Canadian experience that seemed modern and different from the experience that my parents had had growing up. Although at the time I probably just thought it was cool. I wasn’t that deep as a kid. At any rate, these thoughts came back to me today upon reflecting on an anniversary of significance for Italians and for the city that I now call home. It was 35 years ago today that Italy won the 1982 World Cup. At the time this had limited impact on my life. As I said, I was aware of soccer, but watching the World Cup final was not something I would have considered important at that time (maybe if England was playing, but they weren’t and Italy had no personal connection to me in any way). But, what I do remember was being at my Aunt’s house the next day when the Toronto Star came to the door. Upon looking at the front page, which featured 500,000 people celebrating the win on St. Clair West, Auntie Mona let out an audible gasp – paraphrasing, she said something along the lines of “I can’t believe there are that many people here that care.” I’m sure a lot of people in Toronto said the same thing that day. It was the last time they said it though because that was the day that would forever betray the idea that soccer wasn’t important to a great deal of Canadians. It was the day that Pierre Trudeau’s image of a multicultural Canada that blended traditions and passions of both here and there into one unique Canadian experience became real. Moving away from the sociopolitical, it was also a day that changed the sport in this country. If you look back on the soccer participation boom of the 1980s, it likely started with that image of 500,000 people that cared. That was also the day that other cultures started to slowly tear away from the British dominance in managing the game. Soccer had always been here, but it started its march to the mainstream that day. There were also a lot of young kids of Italian decent that watched that game that day and then traveled down to St. Clair West to celebrate that ended up getting deeply involved in the game. But, they did so with the same (if slightly more Mediterranean) outlook as I had. They were of Italian decent, but they were also Canadian. They too brought a blended experience to their soccer passion. It didn’t happen overnight, but eventually that lead to a soccer culture that is thriving now – a culture that instinctively understands that it’s possible to have duel (or more loyalties) and that there is something in the sport for everyone. Obviously, the national team success is a different story (but not if you extend it to the women, where the North American mindset towards equality has allowed the New Country to surpass the Old when it comes to the women’s game – I guarantee there were people in that attached photo that also were also smiling in 2012 and 2016 when Canada claimed bronze), but on a participation level and a spectator level there absolutely has evolved a uniquely Canadian perspective on the Beautiful Game. A perspective shaped by Italy in 1982 and 2006 and Canada in 2012 and 2016 and by the arrival of a new domestic club culture starting in 2007 (and by hundreds of other moments from both here in Canada and around the world). It doesn’t have the same length of history as you’ll find in other parts of the world, but the history it does have is every bit as real and reaffirming. And it all started when 500,000 Canadians of Italian decent took to the streets and told us soccer matters.
  2. I’ve often told the story about how the first soccer game I remember watching in its entirety was the high water mark of the Canadian men’s national team – the infamous day in St. John’s when a bunch of hosers qualified for the World Cup for the first and only time. I’m the anti-Drake. I started from the top and now I’m here. However, that’s not the first soccer memories I have. Growing up in a family with British heritage (my grandmother was born in Bristol, England, and I have family in the UK to this day), I was exposed to all sorts of English culture from a young age. I eat beans on toast, watch Doctor Who (although I picked that habit up as an adult – On The Buses and Are You Being Served? were more of my childhood staples) and, most relevant to here, have always had an affinity to sports played in the UK. Had soccer been on television more often in the early 80s, I’m sure my young self would have watched it. I know that I was aware of it though and I spent a great deal of time learning about British sporting heroes. I was likely the only person in my elementary school who knew who Sebastian Coe was. I also knew who Wayne Gretzky was, obviously, because try as I might my English heritage was never going to overshadow my Canadian upbringing. Thus, when I stumbled upon that game in St. John’s oh so many years ago it was like a light-bulb went off in my head. Finally I had found something that was totally and completely mine – something that combined all aspects of my evolving self-identity into a single thing that was new and exciting and that spoke to a Canadian experience that seemed modern and different from the experience that my parents had had growing up. Although at the time I probably just thought it was cool. I wasn’t that deep as a kid. At any rate, these thoughts came back to me today upon reflecting on an anniversary of significance for Italians and for the city that I now call home. It was 35 years ago today that Italy won the 1982 World Cup. At the time this had limited impact on my life. As I said, I was aware of soccer, but watching the World Cup final was not something I would have considered important at that time (maybe if England was playing, but they weren’t and Italy had no personal connection to me in any way). But, what I do remember was being at my Aunt’s house the next day when the Toronto Star came to the door. Upon looking at the front page, which featured 500,000 people celebrating the win on St. Clair West, Auntie Mona let out an audible gasp – paraphrasing, she said something along the lines of “I can’t believe there are that many people here that care.” I’m sure a lot of people in Toronto said the same thing that day. It was the last time they said it though because that was the day that would forever betray the idea that soccer wasn’t important to a great deal of Canadians. It was the day that Pierre Trudeau’s image of a multicultural Canada that blended traditions and passions of both here and there into one unique Canadian experience became real. Moving away from the sociopolitical, it was also a day that changed the sport in this country. If you look back on the soccer participation boom of the 1980s, it likely started with that image of 500,000 people that cared. That was also the day that other cultures started to slowly tear away from the British dominance in managing the game. Soccer had always been here, but it started its march to the mainstream that day. There were also a lot of young kids of Italian decent that watched that game that day and then traveled down to St. Clair West to celebrate that ended up getting deeply involved in the game. But, they did so with the same (if slightly more Mediterranean) outlook as I had. They were of Italian decent, but they were also Canadian. They too brought a blended experience to their soccer passion. It didn’t happen overnight, but eventually that lead to a soccer culture that is thriving now – a culture that instinctively understands that it’s possible to have duel (or more loyalties) and that there is something in the sport for everyone. Obviously, the national team success is a different story (but not if you extend it to the women, where the North American mindset towards equality has allowed the New Country to surpass the Old when it comes to the women’s game – I guarantee there were people in that attached photo that also were also smiling in 2012 and 2016 when Canada claimed bronze), but on a participation level and a spectator level there absolutely has evolved a uniquely Canadian perspective on the Beautiful Game. A perspective shaped by Italy in 1982 and 2006 and Canada in 2012 and 2016 and by the arrival of a new domestic club culture starting in 2007 (and by hundreds of other moments from both here in Canada and around the world). It doesn’t have the same length of history as you’ll find in other parts of the world, but the history it does have is every bit as real and reaffirming. And it all started when 500,000 Canadians of Italian decent took to the streets and told us soccer matters. View full record
  3. After working with youth soccer players between the ages of 15 to 20 years of age, it is evident that our soccer system is not serving their needs well. We need a proper scouting system for our top players, and a strong network of business professionals who have contacts both locally and abroad in leagues to allow our young players the best opportunities to go pro. Europeans are now more than ever interested in our Canadian players, due to our work ethic, our positive attitude, and our willingness to always improve. We are top in the world in hockey--- it's time to do the same with soccer. I work closely with northern Italian clubs and I can tell you they are more than happy to see our youth players. See more at www.player2prosports.com
  4. Tour to Empoli FC in Perugia, Italy November 2nd to November 9th, 2012 Dream of becoming a professional soccer player? The first step to becoming a professional player is being seen by international scouts! One player from the tour will be chosen to come back for a one-week free trial with Empoli FC Don’t miss out! Only 25 spaces available! Please register online for a tryout to be chosen for this team: Click ONLINE REGISTRATION and indicate Showcase Team Tour to Empoli FC www.yorkregionshooters.com Cost for 7 day trial, including airfare, $2300 CDN. Tour Schedule and Features: Pick-up at the airport (Rome Fiumicino International Airport) at arrival and departure. Accommodation and full board in 3 star hotel/residence www.residencequattrostagioni.com/tour-del-residence.html Food is provided by the hotel and made to the standards of FC Empoli. - For the players: 2 Training kits, 1 bag, 1 hat, 1 water bottle. - 1 trip to one of the following cities: Florence, Rome or Assisi. - 1 visit to Perugia’s city centre. - 4 friendly matches. -5 to 6 training practices For ONLINE BROCHURE, SEE HERE: www.slideshare.net/anitakov/player2pro-soccer-tours www.yorkregionshooters.com
  5. Player2Pro Sports and Sportfolioz are proud to present the following scouting sessions to be taking place at the York Region Shooters Field, 1 St. Joan of Arc Avenue, Maple ON. www.yorkregionshooters.com Each scouting session will last 2 hours, and costs $50 per player per session. Register online at www.player2prosports.com and click the ONLINE REGISTRATION tab. Please indicate which session you would like to attend. _______________________________________________________________________ Friday July 6th: Dinamo Zagreb Croatia Scouting session: 8 pm to 10 pm http://www.dinamoacademy.com/ This session will be supervised by the GNK Dinamo Youth Academy Coach, Danijel Erbeznik, who is Head Coach of the Dinamo Academy in Australia. Danijel has long working history at the Dinamo Football School in Zagreb Croatia and will bring a developed European approach to Junior Development not seem previously in Australia. Wednesday July 11th: Barcelona Spain Scouting Session: 9 am to 11 am http://soccerservices.net/ This session will be supervised by David Hernández Ligero. David is Deputy Technical Director at the Catalan Football Federation, Professor, Faculty of Education at University of Vic, Spain, and Owner of Soccer Services Spain. Soccer Services is a company specializing in training football players and offering guidance to clubs and coaches globally. Main clients of Soccer Services include Federations (Catalan, Finnish, Chinese), Clubs (Pachuca, Mexico, Orlika-Poland) and Professional Players (Carles Puyol, Xavi Hernandez, Iwamasa-national team of Japan-) and training institutions (UVIC, Turbula School, Johan Cruyff Institute). Friday July 20th: Liverpool FC England Scouting Session: 8 pm to 10 pm http://www.liverpoolfcamerica.com/page/show/316841-jimmy-melia This session will be supervised by Jimmy Melia, one of the legends of Anfield and current Technical Director of Liverpool FC America Youth Soccer. Jimmy Melia had an esteemed career which began as a school boy in Liverpool England, dreaming of playing for Liverpool. At 15, Jimmy Melia caught the eye of Don Welsh, then manager of Liverpool FC. On his 17th birthday he was signed professionally and made his debut at age 18 at Anfield on December 17th, 1955. In his debut appearance against Nottingham Forest, Jimmy scored the first of many goals in his spectacular career for Liverpool FC. Jimmy played for 12 years for Liverpool FC, and has coached professionally in 5 Countries: United States, England, Kuwait, Portugal and the United Arab Emirates. Friday July 27th: Empoli FC Italy Scouting Session: 8 pm to 10 pm http://www.italiansoccertrainingcamps.com/ This session will be led by Luis Pomares, Technical Director and International Scouting Program Coordinator for Empoli FC. Luis manages several soccer trials worldwide in partnership with Empoli F.C. He cooperates with with different soccer agents, soccer academies and clubs around the world and connecting them to Italian Professional Clubs in search of young talent.
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