Ontario Soccer has announced that the Soccer Academy Alliance of Canada (SAAC) will manage the administration and operation of the Ontario Academy Soccer League (OASL) in 2018.
The OASL, launched in 2017, is a two-year pilot program in the province and this strategic initiative is designed to implement a separate Academy soccer stream, made up of private academies, which can be aligned with Ontario Soccer’s player development pathway.
“Private academies continue to grow in Ontario and ensuring there is a choice for parents and athletes in programming is important,” said Johnny Misley, Ontario Soccer Chief Executive Officer. “SAAC has shown that they are professional leaders in this space and bringing them further into Ontario Soccer membership is important for the development of the sport in the province.”
SAAC, which remains an Ontario Soccer Associate Member for 2018, was established in 2005, with a vision to develop world-class soccer players in Canada on a continual and systematic basis. In the past nine years, Academy graduates have gone on to professional careers, trials overseas, NCAA scholarships and Canadian Universities.
"We at SAAC are excited to be working with Ontario Soccer. We are looking forward to sharing our expertise and best practices in the private academy stream. We believe this collaboration with Ontario Soccer will improve the caliber of competition and lead in the development of the best soccer players in Ontario," said Greg Stamkos, Chairman of SAAC.
The OASL will operate grassroots development for ages U-8 to U-12 and youth competitive U-13 to U-17 in 2018. Under the pilot provisions, Ontario Soccer and SAAC will work together to provide recommendations to the Ontario Soccer Board of Directors upon completion of the two-year term.
The organizations involved in OASL in 2018 will be announced in the new year.