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The OPDL Spotlight Series - North Mississauga

By OSA News, 06/13/16, 5:30PM EDT


The North Mississauga Soccer Club is currently in its inaugural year in the Ontario Player Development League.

By establishing both boys and girls U-13 teams, the club is providing players within the Peel Halton community with the opportunity to play in a high performance, standards-based league.

The club also offers a variety of grassroots programs for all ages.

What makes you different than the other 20 OPDL License Holder clubs?

The North Mississauga Soccer Club is a player-centred club that offers a wide variety of programs for all its members, from the U-4 age group to adults. Not only are we passionate about our grassroots and competitive programs, but we also run Panther Stars, a program for players with physical and intellectual disabilities. Thus, no matter the age or gender, we have a program suitable for everyone. In addition, all our programs are aligned with the Long Term Player Development model. We also place equal importance to the development of our coaches through a strong mentorship program.

Why is it important for your club to be part of OPDL?

Applying to be a part of the OPDL came naturally for our club, as we are constantly striving towards player and coach development. The North Mississauga Soccer Club firmly believes in developing players through a combination of high performance training programs and age level appropriate play, which is exactly what the OPDL delivers through its focus on Long Term Player Development and the Talented Pathway. Furthermore, as a standards-based league that requires clubs to apply every two years, it challenges our club to not only meet, but exceed the league's technical, financial, facility, and operations standards for all license holders.

What impact has the OPDL program made on your club overall?

Our club's entrance into OPDL sends the message that we are committed to a high level of excellence. The OPDL has been an effective tool to attract new talent in Peel Halton and beyond as well as exposing our players to a highly structured training environment. Being a part of the OPDL has also been an excellent complement to our grassroots programs. Not only are the U-13 players now immersed in top level competition, younger players now have a tangible goal to strive towards. Furthermore, being in the OPDL has also challenged our coaches to further their own education.

What is something people should know about your OPDL program specifically?

The club is committed to providing our teams with all the necessary tools to succeed in this league. This includes securing the best training fields Mississauga has to offer (the same turf our League1 teams train and compete on). We also look within the club to select quality coaches, educating and preparing them to obtain the required licenses to train and lead our teams. As one of the handful of clubs with teams in both OPDL and League1 Ontario, we encourage our youth players to become involved with our League1 Ontario activities to facilitate a potential transition into a semi-professional team in the near future.

What have you not been asked, that you'd like to share?

As a new license holder, we expected there to be some initial skepticism from parents as with all things new. However, we quickly took control by organizing a parent information session to get the word out to our U-13 players. We invited Gary Miller, Technical Director of the OSA, to give us a presentation as well as answer any questions parents might have, which made them feel supported. Being a new license holder is a large responsibility and not without its challenges, but it is one that the NMSC is excited to take on for the growth of its members.

Contributer: Jhon Ardila, NMSC Technical Head Coach

Jhon Ardila is the Technical Head Coach at the North Mississauga Soccer Club and has been with the club since 2007.

Jhon has both his Canadian National A License and an ATFA Argentina Soccer Association professional coaching degree with over thirty years of experience as both player and coach.

Jhon approaches the game with passion and continues to play a major role in the club's technical curriculum in developing its members' knowledge of the sport.