Toronto FC and FC London announced a partnership today that will see the two organizations work closely together to build a model professional and amateur sport partnership. Toronto FC through its London TFC Regional Development and Identification Centre will support FC London as a regional development club, providing professional technical player and coaching development for the club. FC London will retain its name. This marks the second TFC Regional Development and Identification Centre, the first being Windsor TFC which was launched in June.
“Toronto FC is proud to add another provincial partner in FC London. We are continuing to work to build more TFC Regional Development and Identification Centres as we look to support coaching development, share our curriculum and create a player pathway directly to TFC province wide,” said Toronto FC General Manager Tim Bezbatchenko. “We are excited to announce that four players identified by Kia Toronto FC Academy Director Laurent Guyot from our Windsor TFC partnership will be coming to our academy to continue their development. Similarly, we are looking forward to this partnership with FC London and providing players and coaches with the same opportunities to learn and grow in their development and possibly join TFC full time in the future.”
FC London has a long history of representing the London soccer community at the highest levels of amateur soccer in Ontario and are currently active in League 1 Ontario with both men’s and women’s teams. With this partnership with TFC, FC London and its academy will receive technical and tactical direction, fitness guidance and other relevant assistance from members of the Toronto FC Academy staff. In addition, with direct input on players to the Toronto FC Academy, the partnership provides a defined route for high potential athletes who aspire to become professional soccer players.
“Toronto FC is Ontario’s team, not only the GTA’s,” stated Ian Campbell, FC London President. “We in London and surrounding area are delighted to help stretch TFC’s support for developing soccer at the outskirts of Ontario as a satellite program. FC London has a proud history and with the technical direction of the TFC staff, we can reach new heights through a clear player development pathway for our region. TFC and FC London have a long term perspective that will deliver development opportunity for players, coaches and excitement for our fans.”
The partnership between Toronto FC and FC London will include development programs for players and coaches. Toronto FC coaches will make trips to London to provide coaching instruction and technical training to coaches from FC London and FC London affiliated clubs. London coaches will also make a number of trips per year to Toronto FC’s Kia Training Ground to observe and learn best practices from TFC’s staff.