Toronto FC held its second annual Youth Scholarship Program night on Monday at the BMO Training Ground. The club hosted executives from 19 Ontario-based youth clubs and academies, all of which had a player join the TFC Academy this season.
“Tonight’s an opportunity to thank local clubs and academies for their time and effort,” said Toronto FC President Bill Manning, “It’s all about recognizing what they are doing in youth development.”
This year the TFC Academy accepted 27 new players. Those players come from all over the province of Ontario and represent about 20% of the Academy’s players.
“As a club we fully understand and acknowledge the valuable contributions [the clubs and academies] make to the soccer landscape,” said TFC Academy Director Anthony Capotosto. “It’s our responsibility to extend our professional courtesy to them wherever possible.”
The guests were treated to a cocktail hour and meal prepared by the Toronto FC chefs.
TFC General Manager Tim Bezbatchenko, Canada Soccer U-20 Program Director Andrew Olivieri, and Ontario Soccer President Ron Smale also all spoke during the event, stressing the importance of continuing to establish the player pathway to TFC in the province.
The evening concluded with a presentation of cheques given to each representative to be reinvested into their clubs for the continued development of talent. Manning urged the clubs to use the funds to scholarship players who may be priced out from playing competitively.
As the final cheque was handed out Manning explained what the club’s official motto All for One stands for and then stated, “This is All for One and what’s best for soccer in this province.”