There probably wasn’t a Canadian watching the game who didn’t jump to their feet when Diana Matheson scored in the dying seconds against France on Wednesday to give Canada a 1-0 victory and a very well deserved bronze medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, England.
On behalf of the OSA membership we send our heartfelt congratulations to the Canadian Soccer Association, coaches, support staff and our Canadian Women’s National Team. Our Canadian side has earned not only a medal, but respect from around the soccer world with their skill, determination and courage. The game against the United States earlier in the tournament will be remembered for many reasons—including the ability to fight all odds and push through adversity to almost upset the number-one ranked team in the world.
Our women have created a bit of history as well, as part of the first Canadian official traditional team sport in the Summer Olympics to capture a medal since 1936 in Berlin. (The only other Olympic soccer medal won was in St. Louis in 1904 by our men, who captured gold.)
After the bronze-medal game, Diana Matheson stressed that our women wanted to leave behind a legacy for the future and young girls in the sport, as Canada prepares to host the Women’s World Cup in 2015. Our women have certainly done that, and we are all deeply proud of their sterling accomplishment.
Every player on the team contributed to this wonderful achievement, but it’s natural for us here in Ontario to highlight the presence of those who developed their game with our Ontario-based Clubs and/or our Ontario Provincial Team program. That list includes:
· Diana Matheson
· Carmelina Moscato
· Jonelle Filigno
· Candace Chapman
· Melanie Booth
· Robyn Gayle
· Melissa Tancredi
They were all outstanding performers and deserve so much credit, as do the Clubs and coaches across the province that helped in their development. As we move toward the World Cup in 2015, having a clear and player-focused pathway to help develop our young players will be more important than ever before. So many individuals, coaches and Clubs have played and will continue to play a vital role in the development of our top Canadian players. As more and more of our Clubs embrace the values behind Long-Term Player Development (LTPD), we will all work together to do what is best for the individual development of all of our young players, whether they want to play strictly for fun or also aspire to a future in the game, as we have seen in the case of those players who are now part of our Bronze-medal winning Canadian team.
On that note, we invite those of you who have not seen our LTPD video to please do so and share it with fellow Club officials, coaches and parents. In it, Diana Matheson, a true role model for aspiring young Canadian athletes, speaks in full support of our LTPD initiative and what it can mean for future generations of Ontario and Canadian youngsters. When someone as accomplished—on and off the field—as Diana speaks, it’s important to listen to her perspective. Diana stresses that, at the early ages, winning and losing is not important but that the focus should be on becoming comfortable with the ball, developing technical skills, passing the ball and decision-making. We should not ignore what amounts on her part to a “call to action”.
As we have stressed in a number of our earlier LTPD updates, our Clubs have done some tremendous things over the years. Implementing LTPD does not mean rejecting everything about the past. There are many fine coaches in Ontario who make a real difference. But we can always strive to do even better and LTPD will help us achieve that—together. There will be even better days ahead for Canadian soccer, as we phase-in changes to our pathway, our coaching certification programs, competitive structures and how we can better identify talent at all stages of a player’s development.
For now, though, we can stand back and applaud and appreciate what our Canadian women have accomplished, on the world’s biggest stage. Again, our hearty congratulations to the CSA, Head coach John Herdman and his support staff and every player who was part of this—and previous—Canadian team rosters.
Congratulations to all!
OSA Board of Directors & Staff
Filed under: Canadian Soccer Association, Clubs, Competitions & Special Events, OSA News Live, Player Development, Players, Team Canada, The OSA News Related Posts: Durham Downs Humber To Earn Berth In Final | Algonquin Earns Chance At 6th Straight | Humber Wins Women’s Bronze | Ontario U18 Boys Bronze, Alberta Silver, Québec Gold | Canada To battle For Bronze After Heartbreaking Loss To USA |