skip navigation

More Doors Open at Provincial Screening Competition Thanks to Collaboration with First Touch Football Canada

By Staff, 04/02/24, 1:45PM EDT


A groundbreaking collaboration with First Touch Football Canada (FTF Canada) elevated Ontario Soccer’s U16 and U17 Provincial Screening Competition this year, exposing talented young soccer players to more opportunities than ever before.

Play. Inspire. Unite.

It’s that time of year again! Ontario Soccer is hosting its Provincial Screening Competitions (PSC) throughout March and April at the Zanchin Automotive Soccer Centre in Vaughan. The PSCs are held annually to identify talented male and female players who are eligible for the U14, U15, U16 and U17 Provincial Xcel Teams. However, in collaboration with First Touch Football Canada (FTF Canada), the U16 and U17 PSC was taken to a whole new level, amplifying available opportunities to post-secondary institutions for invited players.

Renowned in spaces like university and college recruiting, talent showcases and combines, FTF Canada leveraged their extensive network and promotional capabilities to enhance the visibility and reach of the PSC. The event attracted an impressive lineup of attendees, including coaches from post-secondary institutions across Canada and the United States, staff from the National Development Centre, representatives from Toronto FC Academy, as well as delegates from York United and the Canadian Premier League (CPL).

“The two-weekend Ontario Provincial Screening Showcase, a collaboration between First Touch Football Canada and Ontario Soccer, was a resounding success. The level of soccer play exhibited on the field was exceptional, showcasing the talent and potential of the players involved,” said Marcus Hanson, CEO and Founder of FTF Canada. “We extend our heartfelt gratitude to all the college coaches, Ontario Soccer staff, players, and parents whose invaluable contributions made this inaugural event an overwhelming success. Their support and dedication were instrumental in creating an environment where players could thrive and showcase their abilities.”

Ontario Soccer expresses sincere gratitude to FTF Canada for their invaluable contributions. FTF Canada's involvement ensured that the PSC received the attention it deserved and provided a platform for aspiring young athletes to showcase their talents to a wider audience.

Over two weekends, about 320 athletes participated in the U16 and U17 PSCs – 160 girls and 160 boys. Traditionally a one-day event, this year the PSCs evolved into a two-day showcase, a strategic decision to help maximize each player’s exposure while allowing scouts to see separate age groups in the span of two days.

"The Talented Player Pathway, through the OPDL and Provincial Xcel programs, has been serving Ontario’s players very well as they seek opportunities at the next level of play," said Matt Ferreira, Ontario Soccer's Director of Development. "The collaboration with FTF Canada allows Ontario Soccer to now provide a centralized platform for players to be seen by Universities and Colleges, integrated into our existing program at no extra cost, to allow these top talents to be seen and considered for scholarships and playing opportunities. Having these post-secondary coaches on-site also allows for our membership to keep expanding their own networks which will only increase Ontario player visibility throughout North America."

Beyond scouting, the event also offered a virtual educational component for players on best practices when seeking post-secondary recruitment. These sessions equipped participants to navigate the recruiting process, better understand academic requirements, and maximize their chances of securing opportunities in both Canadian or US universities and colleges.

For those who participated in the PSC Showcase: U16 and U17 Provincial Xcel Teams will be announced on Monday, April 15.

"We are excited to provide a platform to these 320 players to be scouted for post-secondary playing opportunities and scholarships through the Provincial Xcel Program," Ferreira added. "Having more Ontario-based players competing in next-level environments is a testament to the work of our member clubs & coaches as well as the commitment of players and their families in the pursuit of excellence at the highest levels. We wish them success in the upcoming season where they will undoubtedly continue to be tracked by these next-level coaches."

Ontario Soccer looks forward to building on the success of this year's PSCs, furthering our commitment to nurturing talent and providing aspiring young athletes with the opportunities they need to succeed in their soccer journey. Through continued collaboration with organizations like FTF Canada, we aim to continue elevating the standard of talent identification and player development while reducing barriers to access these opportunities in Ontario.

To learn more about the Ontario Soccer Provincial Xcel Program, click here.

See FTF Canada's coverage of the weekend below: