Toronto, ON (December 19th, 2016) – The Toronto Blizzard are pleased to announce that we have been officially accepted into competitive play within League 1 Ontario for the 2017 season. Our successful application will see us launch our Women’s program first with the start of league play for this upcoming season followed by plans to also add a men’s program for 2018.
It was a cold day back in 1979 for opening day when the Toronto Blizzard took the field for their first inaugural home game. In fact, the city had been frozen by a blizzard. The events have just repeated themselves as a blizzard recently hit Toronto with the announcement of the Toronto Blizzard coming back to life once again. Like a phoenix rising up from the ashes of old to take its place once again in prominence in the form of the new Toronto Blizzard partnered with the Toronto Azzuri.
To meet the needs of today’s soccer environment the Blizzard organization decided to start with the women’s side of the game first. We as a Nation are having much success within the women’s game and the Toronto Blizzard are dedicated to our complete soccer community.
Playing in the new League 1 Ontario professional-amateur (pro-am), standards based league, which is officially classified as the Division 3 national standard, allows us to continue to develop and provide opportunities for our females in the game to play at the highest levels. We can now ensure that talented players who are good enough are given opportunities based on physical, technical, tactical, and mental development rather than just chronological age. Typically, players are waiting until they reach between the ages of 17-23. If you are good enough, you are old enough, that is our philosophy. This is vital for our girls in National team representation as well as those who are playing at top universities and colleges in the US or in Canada.
“The Toronto Blizzard Women’s program will launch a new club directive towards higher performance programs. Participation into League 1 is important as it provides a favourable circumstance for the Toronto Azzurri SC to inspire its current membership to aspire to reach playing in the province’s highest League. Our participation in League 1 with the Women’s team will spark new interest and participation in players, coaches, administrators and sponsors”, said Bob Iarusci – Toronto Azzurri Chairman, former star NASL player, member of the Canadian national soccer team and inaugural member of Canadian Soccer Hall of Fame, inducted in 2000. The Blizzard already have growing ranks of the younger grassroots levels players that are currently being transitioned into high performance through their partnership with the Toronto Azzurri and others. Offering young players’, the ability to fine tune their skills in Canada is paramount for those looking to progress in their careers. Participation in League1 allows us to professionally continue to develop our home grown talent in the right environment preparing them for what lies ahead.
“Over the past two seasons, I have seen what League1 has been able to offer female players,” said Joe Parolini, Toronto Blizzard. “It allows NCAA players and Women’s National team players the opportunity to play at the highest level of play, while still staying at home rather than traveling. It also allows Division 1 players and younger youth players an opportunity to train and play with some of the best talent across Canada.”
Four new teams will join Ontario’s only pro-am standards based league in 2017, three new teams were added to the expansion in the women’s division. West Ottawa Soccer Club, Toronto Blizzard and Unionville Milliken SC. All three will join the women’s ranks, growing the division to 12 teams for next season. For this round of expansion, the League1 Ontario Steering Committee opted to restrict new entries to apply to enter a team in either the Men’s or Women’s Division to ease their transition to operating at this level.
Players, coaches and media interested in more information may contact firstname.lastname@example.org