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The OPDL Spotlight Series - Whitecaps London

By Staff , 06/19/18, 4:30PM EDT


The week features comments from Whitecaps London president Abbi Lezizidis

Play. Inspire. Unite.

The OPDL Spotlight Series, presented by Toronto FC, highlights stories, teams and initiatives from around the league. 

This week features comments from Abbi Lezizidis, Club President at London Whitecaps.

This is the first season of OPDL action for Whitecaps London.

Lezizidis believes its Whitecaps London's time of change. They have licensed coaches, a more specific kids program that focuses on skill development rather than winning.

He is a true believer and supporter of the Long Term Player Development and Long Term Match Officials Development model.

This will be your first year in the OPDL, whats the process of getting to this point been like?

This is the first season for Whitecaps London in the OPDL program.

There are so many people who have helped Whitecaps London get to this point today. The club board is made up of like-minded passionate people who work very hard to help the club grow.

Every day that our players arrive for practice, fitness and game day there is a sense of pride and belonging to bearing the Whitecaps badge. The fact that an MLS club would support a team in Ontario is an absolute blessing and honour for our club.

We look forward to many years ahead and growing within this amazing programming, OPDL and LTPD.

What are you most excited about for your players, now that they are a part of the Talent, Development and Performance environment of the OPDL?

I’m excited about where soccer is heading in this province. As one of the leaders of the club, I love the standards of this league.

The opportunity to train in a professional standards-based environment and be exposed to the best competition in Ontario is very exciting for our players and coaches. 

What do you hope to bring to the OPDL as a new license holder?

We hope to bring professionalism and passion to the field every day through our players and staff and how they conduct themselves on and off the field. We also want to showcase our players and give them opportunities to progress in the sport they love, and showcase teams and a style of play that represents the values of the Vancouver Whitecaps, Canada Soccer and Ontario soccer and the OPDL. 

How do you feel your Administrators, Match Officials and Technical Staff will benefit from their involvement in the OPDL?

We have already seen big benefits for everyone involved at our club due to our involvement in the OPDL. The expectations are high within our club and supported by policies, procedures, and structureofm the league. The standards will help us develop our coaches and match officials.

At Whitecaps London we’re very fortunate to have Mike Ayyash as our technical director. Mike is focused and determined on the strong development of youth soccer and its players. Mike is also a strong believer of LTPD.

The match officials in London have only had League1 to develop their skills. It’s an incredible and exciting avenue to development Match Official toward the highest levels. You cannot have great soccer in this country without strong match officials.

We are very much looking forward to the remaining part of the season and meeting fellow technical directors and administrators building the future soccer programming of this province.


Abbi Lezizidis is the President of the Whitecaps London and he is a firm believer in the LTPD and LTOD model and how the OPDL can help his club develop talent.

Abbi  Lezizidis

Abbi Lezizidis

President at Whitecaps London

Phone: 519-317-2680