Stuart Neely

Academy Starts Five-Month Pilot Project

As Toronto FC Academy grows to include under-15 and 13 levels, scouting will be an integral part of its program development. The club is extremely pleased to announce the addition of the following personnel to act as scouts for the sprouting Toronto FC Academy program.

1. Jeff Cambridge (London, Kitchener/Waterloo)
2. Ronnie Davidson (Hamilton, Oakville, Burlington)
3. Rick Titus (Mississauga/Brampton)
4. Jens Kraemer (Durham Region)
5. Frank Lofranco (Ottawa/Kingston)

Toronto FC Academy director Stuart Neeley said of the new appointees, "I have known all the coaches for a number of years and I am confident that during this five month pilot project, we will be able to find players for our program."

The project will run to the end of 2011 before a review.

"All coaches have the mandate of finding players for our future U15 and U13 Program Trials this coming November. We want to begin each of those programs in January 2012. However, they will keep a keen eye for current 1994, 1995 and 1996 born players."

Toronto FC has made a $20 million investment in new Academy and first team training grounds at Downsview Park. Three grass fields, one FieldTurf pitch and a 40,000 square foot fieldhouse will be unveiled at Downsview in spring of 2012.

Canada's first Major League Soccer club is committed to homegrown Canadian talent and have already graduated six Academy players into its first team.

[inline_node:5551]"In order to continue to serve as a feeder to our first team, we must build a strong base and do a little more each year," said Toronto FC director of player development, Paul Mariner.

"These kids will have the advantage of having access to our brand new training facilities – I am excited for them."

The details of the mandate given to the five scouts are still being finalized, but Neely is ready to seize the momentum of the Downsview digs that are underway and begin the experiment. 

“The program details are being developed at the moment but we will be drawing upon the experiences of the five scouts, and our club affiliations to help build and shape our future and the future of their players," Neely told TorontoFC.ca.

"Expect to see all five scouts from now until December. We will then review our approach, content and feedback from the parents, players and the clubs and take our next steps.”