In 2019, a landmark for Canada Soccer will be reached when an all-new Canadian Soccer Premier League kicks off for the first time in April. As the popularity of soccer in Canada continues to rise, what does the launch of this new league mean for the Canadian games and Canada players, such as Chelsea’s own, Fikayo Tomori?
What Will The Canada Premier League Look Like?
According to the Canadians Premier League’s manifesto, the concept is all about “getting a league they can call their own” and “proving they belong” in the world of soccer. As such, it is hoping to distinguish itself as a completely separate entity from the major North American League, The MLS, and conceive its own identity. It plans to take a more European approach to soccer, with a club-based system as opposed to a franchise-based system.
At the current moment in the time, there are eight teams already entered into the league, but it is still early doors. They will be hoping to attract more teams to the league and when the time is right, introduce promotion and relegations to form a tier system within the Canadian Soccer league.
What Does It Mean For Canada Players?
This will be huge news for players, as having their own league will lead to the nurturing of Canadian talent on home soil. This will mean that players will not have to be sent far and wide to get the necessary guidance and experience to perform at the top levels. If the league proves as competitive as the Canada Soccer Association are hoping it will be, it will be a great way for Canadians to acquire substantial playtime without having to dwell in the MLS league or move to Europe.
Chelsea and Canadian Players
The Blue’s have been keeping an eye on the potential in Canada for years. Canadian Soccer talent was recognised by Chelsea as early as 1997, when they attempted to acquire goalkeeper, Craig Forest, after an impressive loan spell, only for it to be blocked by his current club, Ipswich.
Today, one of our most prominent and upcoming talents, Fikayo Tomori, hails from Calgary in Canada. Tomori has been with Chelsea since under 8 level which alone indicates the natural youth talent in Canada. Thanks to the nurturing of his skills in England in the youth system and loan spells at lower league sides, he has now gained the experience required to play top-level soccer.
Not all players though are able to get this same guidance at such a young age or even had the opportunity to play top-quality soccer at all. Many players like him with the natural talent needed to be the best are likely to already have slipped through the net and not reached their potential. However, with the introduction of the Canadian league, more home-grown Canadian talent will be able to receive the same nurturing before it is too late.
Now that this league is in place, the youth potential in the Canadian league is only going to get better and with Chelsea scouts already keeping their ears to the ground there, you can expect a lot more Canadians to come through the Chelsea ranks in the coming years.
What Does This Mean For The Future of Soccer in Canada?
This will no doubt lead to much more investment in Canadian Soccer in the next few years, which will have benefit the sport financially and lead to a higher level of quality in the nation.
It seems almost fate that this new league is launch at the same time the laws surrounding betting on live casino and sports are becoming increasingly laxer. This new league will spark a huge amount of interest from gambling sites looking to cash in on the game. As well as this, sponsorship for the league as a whole, as well as the individual teams, will be contributing a lot more to the financial stability of the Canadian game.
With this new league, there will also be the likelihood of attracting talent from across the globe looking for opportunities in the new Canadian Premier League, similar to what has been witnessed over the last few years in the MLS. This will heighten the quality of games in the league, as well as further increase national interest in the sport across the country. This may also have a knock-on effect on Canada’s below average performances on the international stage too. With the format of a competitive Canadian league, it may do wonders for the international team.
It is still early days for the Canadian League but, as things stand, it is looking like it may change the Canadian game forever.