We want to congratulate all the players and coaches who represented Ontario at the recent U15 and U16 Canadian championships (boys and girls) in Newfoundland and Nova Scotia.
Team Ontario Under 15 Females
The positive results achieved on the field (3 Gold medals, 1 Silver) were matched by the way our Ontario representatives conducted themselves away from the soccer pitch. Their talent, dedication and behaviour reflects tremendously well on the many individual coaches, District and Club officials who have helped to shepherd the development of these fine young athletes. We are very appreciative of the coaches and local Club leaders who have all influenced the individuals—and outcomes—we witnessed last week. We were impressed with the efforts of our players. They distinguished themselves and made us proud.
At the OSA, we recognize that Club coaches lay the foundation for the success of our provincial program, not only in terms of the technical skills our players display, but also the character and commitment required to succeed at the national level.
Team Ontario Under 16 Girls
While the results (Gold for the U15 boys and U15 Girls, Gold for the U16 Boys and Silver for Girls U16—on penalty kicks) were impressive, those representatives on hand from the Ontario Soccer Association saw much more than the results. We were there to support our young players but perhaps more importantly we were on hand to assess how our elite young players are developing in terms of their overall skills. We came away with a very favourable view of the way our young players are being guided.
As you know, our continued emphasis and focus on Long-Term Player Development will be at the forefront of our training and coaching efforts in the years ahead. So while results will always be monitored, we are much more concerned with ensuring that as many of our talented young players—all across the province—as possible will have the opportunity to advance in the sport for as long as they want to stay in our great game. This could mean eventual identification for our National team, but along with that, opportunities for a host of aspiring young men and women to play for Canadian and American colleges and Universities, and wherever possible, at the professional level in North America and Europe.
Team Ontario Under 15 Males
We are also very appreciative of the leadership shown by the Canadian Soccer Association (CSA) as we continue to move ahead with LTPD. They have established the framework for the training and coaching programs which we are now adapting to best serve our unified player pathway in Ontario, so we can deliver the finest programs and support possible for players, coaches and referees across the province.
As part of the evolution of LTPD, the CSA and its scouts will play a huge role in the identification and development of our players at the appropriate time. CSA representatives were in attendance at Newfoundland and Nova Scotia, and made positive comments that our players performed well in that competitive environment—well aware that the CSA microscope was on them.
The OSA Manager of Player Development, Bryan Rosenfeld believes that the Provincial Program has excelled to a higher level of excellence and his comments after the success in eastern Canada can be greatly reflected to his view that many clubs here in Ontario are moving in a positive direction in terms of player development. This has contributed to stronger players and coaches within the provincial program which reflects on positive results and more importantly the number of Ontario players selected to our National Team programs.
Team Ontario Under 16 Males
While our teams certainly did us proud, we want to assure our member Clubs and players across the province that we will be looking beyond our current All-Star squads to identify more talent in the weeks and months ahead. Part of LTPD philosophy is not to restrict our thinking and how we view player development. Some players blossom later than others. We want to ensure that it is not only the players who have already been “identified” that will benefit from our support, coaching, development and attention. We need to—and we will—continue to broaden our scouting and identification net going forward.
I also want to report that our U14 boys and girls squads were very successful in the Regional All-Stars event in Ontario two weeks ago, as they matched up against their Quebec counterparts over the long weekend.
Again, the “success” of our provincial programs will depend upon far more than any victories we might achieve in various competitions, as important as those milestones still are. We will be measuring our players against a higher standard than ever before— including how many of our players develop their skills, reach their potential and become outstanding, truly elite players. We will ultimately judge ourselves by the number who achieve not only identification for higher, National team honours in Canada, but by how many can continue their career in soccer in other areas (at the collegiate level and professionally) as well.
Again, congratulations to our players and coaches who did such a fine job representing the province.
OSA Chief Technical Officer
Filed under: Canadian Soccer Association, Club and Team News, Competitions & Special Events, Out-Of-Province Tournaments, Player Development, Team Ontario Related Posts: Ontario U-16 Boys Win Over Nova Scotia Garners Silver | Ontario U-16 Boys Win 3-0 Over Nova Scotia | Ontario U-16 Girls Swamp Nova Scotia 4 – 0 | Ontario U-14 Girls Flood Nova Scotia 4 – 0 | Ontario U14-U16 Girls Golden At National All-Stars |