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
robing@eol.ca


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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