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Author Topic: Sr National Team Article "National Post"  (Read 2383 times)
Sr National News
« on: Wed, 02-Mar-11 @ 11:35:29AM »
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Article from National Post today March 2nd...

GUELPH, ONT.  — More than 150 Canadian football players attended three open tryouts across the country during the last month with the goal of making history. They want to be part of the first Team Canada to compete at the football world championship.

“This is an important moment for us,” said Canadian head coach Larry Haylor during a tryout Sunday in Guelph. “We want young Canadians thinking football is a game that can not just take them to the pros, but also allows them to represent their country.

“We want kids to have that playground-to-podium dream.”

Tryouts were also recently held in Moncton, N.B. and Saskatoon, Sask. Haylor and his staff are looking for the best 45 players available to fill their roster. Most of the team will be comprised of current Canadian Interuniversity Sport players and players who have recently completed their collegiate careers.

Haylor, a former University of Western Ontario head coach who has won more CIS games than anyone in history, will be attending this week’s CFL combine in Toronto to scout potential recruits.

The 2011 world championship, hosted by Austria, takes place in July and will also feature teams from Australia, France, Germany, Japan, Mexico and the United States.

One of the biggest challenges Haylor and his team will face while preparing for the quadrennial event is a lack of awareness in the Canadian sports community.

The International Federation of American Football has been holding the senior men’s world championship since 1999. The first two titles were won by Japan. The United States entered the competition for the first time in 2007 and won the championship game against the Japanese in overtime.

The American team was led by former Kansas City Chiefs head coach John Mackovic and included college players, who completed their senior year in 2006.

Rick Sowieta, Football Canada’s director of sport, believes getting the Americans involved marked a major step forward. However, he admits that even with the United States competing it is difficult to get Canadians to see the world championship as a significant event.

“Obviously people know football is popular in North America, but when you tell them that Japan has more than 100 universities that play football they are surprised,” said Sowieta. “Awareness has been a huge challenge and as a result it has been harder to secure funding.”

Sowieta thinks it will take about $250,000 to get the team to the event. Football is not an Olympic sport, which means Sport Canada, an agency of the federal government, will not offer up funding for international events. Football Canada is hoping to get some support from the CFL and universities around the country.

“We’re working to educate people at every level,” said Sowieta. “Even some university coaches don’t, at first, grasp how big this is, but they’re starting to come around and we’re hoping the athletic directors and alumni will embrace this as well.”

Haylor believes it is only a matter of time before the world championship becomes a major event, which will make it easier to create interest and raise funds.

“The international game has been growing exponentially,” he said. “I was in Sweden presenting at an IFAF conference about three years ago and there were 57 nations represented — and there are more now. The game has more than a grassroots foundation in those countries.”

Haylor, who coached at Western from 1984 to 2006 (when he retired), has assembled a staff that features all of the top Canadian university coaches. Western’s Greg Marshall, a former Hamilton Tiger-Cats head coach, will serve as offensive co-ordinator, while Laval’s Glen Constantin, who has led his team to four Vanier Cup titles in the last decade, will be the defensive co-ordinator.

Other CIS head coaches on the staff include Saskatchewan’s Brian Towriss (special teams and running backs), Acadia’s Jeff Cummins (defensive line), Saint Mary’s Steve Sumarah (quarterbacks and receivers) and Calgary’s Blake Nill (linebackers).

“Getting coached by just one of these guys is amazing so to get them all on the same staff is pretty remarkable,” said former University of Ottawa quarterback Josh Sacobie, who took part in Sunday’s tryout. “I think that is what got a lot of the guys interested in this. To be surrounded by some of Canada’s best all-time coaches really adds to the idea this is a high-performance event.”

The world championship is enticing to players such as Sacobie, who are eager to continue playing meaningful football, despite not being able to catch on yet with a professional team.

It is also an attractive opportunity for current university players looking to bolster their profile.

In the future, Haylor hopes CFL clubs may consider releasing young Canadian talent to play in the event similar to how some NHL teams allow players to take part in the world junior hockey championship.

Canada has experienced success at other IFAF events, winning the silver medal at both the 2010 world women’s championship and the 2009 junior men’s championship. But Haylor knows it may take awhile for the world championship to become a major event on the Canadian sports calendar.

“A big part of what we need to do is brand it, promote it and get it out there,” he said.
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Go Canada
« Reply #1 on: Thu, 31-Mar-11 @ 01:29:49PM »
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Does anuyone know when this team will be announced?
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« Reply #2 on: Sun, 05-Jun-11 @ 11:21:29AM »
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Has this game happened yet? Why isn't this big news? Anyone have an update? I need some details
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« Reply #3 on: Sat, 05-Jan-13 @ 02:34:42AM »
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With Canada finishing 2nd in the mens Sr to the US in 2011 and first in the U19 beating the US Canada has the ability and facilities now to have a Canada Cup type of event in between the World championships the next mens world Championship is in 2015 in which time Canada can plan to have an event in 2017. At that point most of the new facilities that are being built for the CFL and MLS teams will be completed that will have capacities of 25 to 30 thousand with all the modern amenities luxury suites etc.. Also since 2000 the CIS universities have been building modern venues that are of a smaller capacity of 5 to 10 thousand. BC Place and Rogers Centre are both larger indoor facilities that are among the best in the world and a 3rd indoor venue in Olympic Stadium in Montreal which holds the largest cpacity in Canada.
So the variety of sized modern venues Canada has the abilty to adjst to the size of crowds that could be expected and grow into a large football event every 4 years in betwen the official world championships 4 year rotation.
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