Toronto FC announced Tuesday that the club has hired Stuart Neely as Toronto FC Kia Academy Senior Team head coach and USL PRO Club assistant coach.
“We are very happy to bring Stuart back to TFC,” said Toronto FC General Manager Tim Bezbatchenko. "His coaching experience, knowledge of both the game and soccer landscape in our province will be vital to our success at the Academy level and for our USL PRO club.”
Neely returns to Toronto FC after previously serving as the Club’s Academy Director during the 2011 season. Prior to being named director, Neely joined the Academy at its inception in 2008 and served as the Academy’s manager and Junior Team head coach. Under Neely’s direction, Toronto FC produced six players that transitioned from the Academy to the First Team.
“It is an exciting and emotional return to my club and I am looking forward to the new challenge,” said Toronto FC Kia Academy Senior Team Head Coach Stuart Neely. “Ontario is filled with special talent and I am looking forward to building relations once again to make our player pathway stronger from top to entry.”
After departing the club at the conclusion of the 2011 season, Neely joined the Vancouver Whitecaps FC as the head of player management and advancement where he remained until July 2013. Neely went on to join New Zealand Football as the head of football development. After his time in New Zealand, Neely joined KW United FC in March 2014. It was there he most recently served as vice president of football and head coach of PDL and W-League teams.
A Canadian ‘A’ Licence coach, Neely’s extensive career in football began as the director of player development for the Ontario Soccer Association (1995-98). He went on to hold roles as technical programs manager for the Canadian Soccer Association (1998-2003), and high performance program manager for the Manitoba Soccer Association (2003-05).