Windsor TFC is a pro-am Soccer Club and Academy located in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. Here’s how Windsor TFC and its youth Academy fits into the bigger picture and the goals we have set for ourselves.
We believe that to inspire interest and development, we have to be present at the highest level of play, in the region and beyond, as the opportunities are presented.
League 1 is the highest level for both men and women and we will continue to support this program as long as they are viable and offer the most value to our members.
As part of our mandate, we will strive to build the girl's program in parallel as well as to work toward acquiring a Canadian Premier League franchise within 3 to 5 years after the League’s inaugural season if that is the responsible and feasible thing to do.
There should be no shortage of opportunity for our kids to play at higher levels against the best competition available within our geographic area. Our priority is to support the development of a local community program and a Canadian program, as well as developing Canadian players.
If our only goal was to expose our kids to a professional franchise then we have met our goal with our TFC affiliation.
TFC is serious about keeping on eye on our program, providing guidance and coaching education, identifying prospects, and engaging with summer and winter sessions each year.
The affiliation with TFC is especially good for us and we are quite pleased with how Windsor TFC and the players have been treated. Let’s remember, however, that our core purpose is not to feed TFC, but rather to provide inspiration, learning, development, teamwork, leadership, and an active sporting experience, all of which extend beyond professional aspirations.
We are building an sports program academy which truly serves the player experience and parental hopes and wishes. It just so happens that this experience comes in the form of soccer.
The expected by-products such as scholarships, trophies, accolades, and other rewards are just that; benefits and not guarantees.
We will continue to build the best academy program focused on skill and teamwork, but we will not sell our members on the rewards of our efforts. We will provide every opportunity for exposure within our vast network of coaching contacts across North America. More importantly, we intend to build the sought after skills, habits, and character those coaches want.
Michael Calvin, author of No Hunger in Paradise: The Players. The Journey. The Dream, wrote about how children enrolled in professional academies in the United Kingdom have a very small chance of succeeding as professional footballers. He concluded, “Academies of their very essence are a good idea. Get the best players, give them the best coaches in the best potential environment.”
The problem is that the ills of senior football – greed, opportunism, the stockpiling of talent unnecessarily for commercial gain – are seeping down into junior football. That’s what’s happening in the academies of the major clubs where boys are going in, they’re sucked into the system. They’re taken over by the dream.
But, realistically, all they would do is sit there and wait for a chance that will never come. The statistics are really sobering. Out of all the boys who enter an academy at the age of 9, less than half of 1% make it. Or a make a living from the game either.
The most damning statistic of all is only 180 of the 1.5 million players who are playing organised youth football in England at any one time will make it as a Premier League pro. That’s a success rate of 0.012%.
Pretty much the sort of chances of you being hit by a meteorite on your way home.
We will not sell a pipe dream. We will, however, provide an amazing experience, support, and celebration when the kids graduate to the next level in athletics and apply the team skills in their worklife.
Clearly, we have work to do as we add age groups to support our long-term goals. This will not be easy. To ensure success along the way we need to pace ourselves and continue to build the foundation.
We have been focused on the boys program first and we will build the girls program as we stabilize. We do not want to grow just for the sake of sake. We need to keep our purpose in mind as we plan our growth and direct it in the most careful and effective way possible.
We will build with structure and coaches first, then with members.
The purpose of any organization is to create an environment where it’s members, in this case players, coaches, and administrators, can learn, grow, and connect to achieve success on a stated mission.
For us, a key measure of success is to ensure that our players and coaches achieve along two dimensions:
This is where the most exciting and peak experience is found. It is the ongoing vision for our players and program. This state is hard to achieve and yet worthwhile to pursue.
Apart from the player and coach development aspect, we have been advocating for facility improvements. This is clearly a capital issue and requires the whole soccer community and the municipality to be fully engaged.
We know we have a greats sports culture in this community. We lack, however, the higher standard of training and match facilities which are more suitable for development. These types of facilities draw interest from event organizers who would love to compete in Windsor and Essex County
To rectify this, we will conitnue to raise the need and engage officials who also recognize the need to make improvements in this area.
As an organization, Windsor TFC is just one club that is working to advance our community and our kids’ interest. Our success and that of others is on the shoulders of many others who preceded us.
To honor those that put in the effort as well as achieved significant success, Windsor TFC has initiated the Essex County Soccer Hall of Fame.
This is a separate and complimentary organization whose purpose is to recognize past achievement and to celebrate effort. It will also function as a fundraiser for the program, especially directed toward coaching development.
This is our direction and what you might expect from being associated with Windsor TFC. We will not be perfect, nor will we suit everyone. But, you will know what we stand for and how we will achieve it.
One for All
Vancho and Anthony