May 10, 2018 CPL News--Launch of the York 9 team in the Canadian Premier League (by Rocket Robin)
Details of the Thursday May 10, 2018 launch of the York 9 soccer team in the new Canadian Premier League held at the Vaughan City Hall in Vaughan Ontario at 5:00pm. A crowd measuring in the hundreds was here to hear the news—about 50 chairs were set up for the MVPs and families and the rest of us stood against a wall to hear this multimedia presentation. The presentation started at 5:40pm with a video of the Canadian Premier League which many of us had seen in the last few weeks on the league's online site. Sportsnet broadcaster James Sharman was the MC to keep things moving, first calling us to sit down. He started with a story that something was missing in this country and that was a domestic national league. York 9 will be an a huge part of that as one of those teams. Sharman said York 9 is the first team to be officially announced. The league is definitely starting in the spring of next year. He introduced the Mayor of Vaughan Maurizio Bevilacqua. Bevilacqua said today is a day to remember and the city and people are proud. This city is where it started! He thanked us for being here tonight. He talked to Jim Brennan that he could feel it in his bones that to really succeed it must be a labour of love. It gives a future to our young players to give them a chance to excel. York Region will rally around this team so in no team we bring home the cup. He introduced other politicians from the surrounding municipalities (remember there are nine of them) and inside Vaughan itself. Bevilacqua also thanked the Baldassarre family for being involved (part of the ownership). He said he made a great contribution to build the local hospital and again thanked him for his generosity. He welcomed other CPL officials and thanks to past soccer players as 'the seeds' that laide the groundwork for this generation participation. James Sharman shouts out some former players in attendance. Steven Caldwell, Marco Reda, and Paul Stalteri in this round. Sharman said we need the hardcore fans and cues up the York 9 video which a lot of fans have seen on the internet. On that video with the broadcaster Peter Schaad who I always took for a west coast guy praised the York Region for the talent and described the area as a hotbed of soccer opportunities naming former players and local youth teams. The number '9' is for the number of communities in York and the one of the most important positions in soccer—aka one of the forwards. Jim Brennan on the video says it's exciting and a dream come true. Sharman shouts out more former players here...Bob Ierussi, Carmine Marcantonio, and others. He introduces a round table of CPL commissioner David Clanachan, York 9's Jim Brennan and Preban Ganzhorn, and CPL president Paul Beirne. When asked 'why now' Clanachan said he's talked to owners of all teams about their passion and creating their legacy. It's the pathway to a dream. Canada is the only country that doesn't have a domestic league. Soccer is the fastest growing sport and with the numbers he threw out about young people etc, he said 10% of the population players soccer each week. Brennan was asked 'why here' and said he grew up in Newmarket and has now moved back here after his playing days. He can see the passion in this region. Ganzhorn was asked about a 'home to play' for this team and after thanking the organizers he said the team will start a home base at York University to kick off and train. Then they will build a 12 to 15 thousand seat stadium in the region which will be 'soccer first' comparable to a European stadium. Beirne was asked 'why launch now' and answered “We're ready!” and outlined how soccer is matching the population culturally and demographically. It's an exciting time. The stage is cleared and Sharman outlines what will be the club identity. On the video board the crest and colours are unveiled. Green and black and white which many fans have seen on the internet already. Sharman cues up 'our first Tifo' and out from the overhanging balcony supporters unveil 'Generation IX' and the holders chanting some songs they've got already. In the balcony are also children wearing some York 9 t-shirts and we're told the merch stands are open already. Also membership deposits are being taken for $50. Streamers are thrown off the balcony (after prompting) by some of those t-shirt wearing kids. Mayor Bevilacqua is brought back onstage to ceremonially buy the first York 9 membership deposit. We were thanked for coming and invited for refreshments in the room next door. I mingled with some of the guests, many who I knew from my League 1 Ontario contacts like coaches and managers. Also fans, it sure was nice to be recognized by folks from the message boards. I was marking out last night when eventually five Canadians were on the field at the same time for Toronto FC but this league will that many or more Canadians always on the field and not because the American stars are out injured. I was circulating around and carrying my old CSL North York Rockets jersey. I tried it on at home and could only keep it on for ten minutes before feeling squeezed as I'm not as thin as I was back at the end of the 1980s. I did buy a new green on black York 9 t-shirt for $25. I bought a membership with a hostess who registered me on some kind of tablet...I'm Member #24. Perfect! I'm probably the only fan who doesn't drink alcohol. Also I could report on what happened without hiding behind a paywall...like @24thminute Duane Rollins who I didn't notice here today. This meeting was filmed by different outlets...the one I recognized was OMNI—the Toronto multicultural station because of the logos on their mics. I used to listen to that station's Italian and Portuguese newscasts to hear their sportscasts of Toronto Italia and Portuguese Supra even though I couldn't understand a word. Current TFC II's goalkeeper Angelo Cavalluzzo's dad Dino read the news/sports in Italian. I talked with Jim Brennan. This is somewhat similar to about 13 years ago when I met him on a pub night with him and Mo Johnson convincing people to buy season tickets to Toronto FC. Brennan was the first ever signing. I also talked with Steven Cladwell (sic) Ok a few typo glitches on the seating arrangements about last year's L1O banquet where last year's 'Best Young Player' Cyrus Rollocks (who I feel would by now fit perfectly in the TFC II goal parched lineup) and captain Steven Furlano were dropped although they've both found other teams this season. There are still so many questions that were not addressed although it's probably part of the roll out or still to be determined. The schedule (equal or staggered), sponsorships at the local and national level, the budget and calibre of players, media coverage (when we were told that the owners would do interviews with members of the media I was thinking they meant a higher profile person than me), coaching, officiating, single table or East/West conferences, etc. I thought I'd corner Sportsnet's James Sharman. Hearing his boast about covering the game for almost twenty years I thought I'd break the ice with mentioning that I remember him filming a segment about stopping Penalty kicks with Toronto Lynx goalie Theo Zagar at Centennial Park. Ok! I talked with him about a Sportsnet calibre network covering the league and he said it was all about the numbers and the money. He doesn't expect there'd be much mention on the general sportscasts with all the other sports they cover and soccer would continue to be about England, Europe and MLS. I was thinking of a soccer magazine show (where it's all soccer news) displacing rebroadcasts of celebrity darts and poker tournaments but he said they are cheap programming. I certainly understood rubbing his fingers together as 'all about the money'. He said he'd lobby for more coverage. He suggested web coverage as many leagues are doing but for even highlight packages they are looking for top quality (hmm so League 1 Ontario I suspect wouldn't be professional enough). I suggested that these new media outlets he mentioned like DAZN would eventually all be bought up by monopolies like Rogers anyway like they've done with cell phone companies. Well we're see. In the parking lot on the way out I noticed two York 9 vehicles or at least moving ads for the team. On a personal note I can't quite say “I wasn't sure if I'd ever SEE another Canadian domestic league again” because tomorrow I am having a very serious eye operation which at one time was supposed to be a slam dunk but now is more complicated. Rocket Robin firstname.lastname@example.org
soccer tricks performers
Soccer panel (from left) James Sharman with Paul Beirne, Preban Ganzhorn, Jim Brennan and David Clanachan.
York 9 logo
York 9's first tifo
Vaughan City Hall.
York 9 vehicles in parking lot. My car is between the two.
Bridging the generations of almost thirty years.
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