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Project 8 Reveals Third Founding Team for First Women’s Professional League in Canada

By Staff, 04/26/23, 10:30AM EDT


AFC Toronto City join Vancouver Whitecaps FC and Calgary Foothills SC as one of eight teams planned for league slated to launch in 2025

Play. Inspire. Unite.

AFC Toronto City will be the first women's professional soccer team in Toronto; playing in Canada's first women's professional league slated to launch in 2025. AFC Toronto City is founded by Helena Ruken as Chief Executive Officer, Brenda Ha as Chief Operating Officer, Jill Burgin as Chief Marketing Officer, Mike Ruthard as Chief Financial Officer, Billy Wilson as Technical Advisor, and Shamez Mangalji as Director of Sales and Fundraising. All six founders have shared roots in North Toronto Soccer and are experienced in business and the world of soccer, player performance and pathways. They are passionate advocates of equity, championing women and offering more representation and opportunities at all levels of the sport in Canada – both on and off the pitch – and are dedicated to applying their experience and expertise to launch the first women’s professional soccer team in Toronto in the spring of 2025.

"As one of the founding clubs for Project 8, we are excited to be the first to bring women's professional soccer to Toronto. We are a group of passionate advocates for equity, diversity, and inclusion, and we're excited to rally even more partners, supporters, and our local community to join us on this journey towards kicking-off women's professional soccer in Toronto,” said Helena Ruken, CEO, AFC Toronto City.

Project 8, led by Canadian soccer two-time Olympic Medallist Diana Matheson and business partner Thomas Gilbert, announced late in 2022 plans to launch a professional women’s soccer league in Canada in 2025. In this announcement, two founding teams were also shared – Vancouver Whitecaps FC and Calgary Foothills SC.

Toronto City is working on creating its identity and crest which will be announced in the coming year. You can follow its channels on the following socials:

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