By Elisa Mitton
Windsor TFC, a League 1 Ontario franchise holder since 2015 and the Essex County Soccer (ECSA) Association’s district representative in the West Region Soccer League (WRSL), and the University of Windsor Lancershave entered into a partnership, aligning development priorities and consolidating resources for the good of player development in Windsor Essex for the 2019 season.
The overarching goal is of the cooperation agreement is to assure long-term success, sustainability and growth of each program through mutual development of talented soccer players and student – athletes that may aspire to the next level of success. With the inaugural season of the long awaited Canadian Premier League (CPL) in the spring of 2019 and its acquisition of League 1 Ontario, the opportunities for advancement are better than ever.
Shared benefits of this arrangement include:
The intention of this agreement is to support both the men’s & women’s programs, with the current League 1 Men’s Program in 2019 and explore the creation and support of a Women’s League 1 program in 2020.
As a result of the agreement for the 2019 season, Windsor TFC welcomes head coach Ryan Mendonca to oversee the League 1 team and coaching staff. Coach Mendonca is coming off his first season as head coach of the Windsor Lancers men’s soccer team where he has led a progressive approach in supporting development of the student-athlete on and off the field. He is in the process of completing his Canada Soccer National A License in 2019, while holding a Canada Soccer National B License, USSF National C License and Ontario Soccer Technical Director Diploma.
Coach Mendonca is currently the Technical Director of Tecumseh Soccer Club, spearheading the continued development and TSC’s Ontario Player Development League (OPDL) program and teams. The OPDL is the pinnacle of development for youth in Ontario, providing players, coaches & match officials access to environments of the highest standard in Ontario.
“We have been seeking this type an arrangement for a long time as we believe it is the best model for player development at this age group and level of play. Combining and aligning our interests for a common goal will only benefit the players and the fans of our community. We welcome and commend Ryan’s commitment to both programs,” said Vancho Cirovski, President of Windsor TFC.
“The Lancers are excited about this partnership with the Windsor TFC,” said athletic director Mike Havey. “This agreement presents an opportunity for our current student athletes for an enhanced training and development opportunity and also creates the potential for an enhanced recruiting reach because of this more robust and complete program.”
“Working with our local League 1 partner assures a year round development environment for each and every player involved,” said Mendonca. “With CPL beginning this season, it opens doors for our players to be scouted, recruited and drafted to the full professional level.”