It’s been a long time since my last post, so I figured I’d start off 2013 in a positive manner and get back to it!
2012 was a busy year – plenty of traveling around North America covering MLS (enough to garner another year of Air Canada Elite status – thank you for that!), a full month spent covering EURO 2012 and a few weeks covering the Canadian Women’s Olympic team and their wonderful bronze medal achievement. To say that I enjoyed it immensely would be an understatement. There were so many great stories to tell, and I am fortunate to work with some of the best in the business, including my colleague at TSN, Luke Wileman. (I can compliment him now, because I’ll be taking the mickey out of him the next time I see him!)
Unfortunately, in June I had to resign my position as Technical Director of the Oakville Soccer Club. It was a very difficult decision for me, as I thoroughly enjoyed the job and all of the wonderful people with whom I came into contact. But there are only 24 hours in the day, and I can’t always do everything I want to do! I’m delighted that the Club has hired Dino Lopez to take over the reigns, as he is someone in whom I have a great deal of faith. He will continue to drive the Club forward so that it remains a leader in youth soccer in Canada.
2013 will bring with it many challenges for those involved with Canadian soccer. The introduction and implementation of the OPDL in Ontario is a major step forward for grassroots soccer, and something with which I will continue to be involved. I do not think it is a stretch to say that the successful launch of this league will be a turning point in the development of the game in Ontario, and by extension, in Canada. A similar league (the BCSPL) is already underway in British Columbia, while Quebec also has a similarly structured youth development league (with a few key differences).
Our failure to qualify for the Hex in men’s World Cup qualifying requires a post-mortem, but those with all the facts know that our problems at the grassroots level need to be addressed first before we will ever see success at the National Team level. Thankfully, 2013 should bring substantive change in many areas – like the creation and implementation of a National Curriculum – something we can all agree is desperately needed.
My first post of the year is a short one, so I’ll leave you with this thought…
All the best in 2013!