I have been Vice-President of the Canadian Footballers’ Union since I was elected at the first committee meeting of this organization. When Marcel de Jong stepped down as chairman, it was a natural progression for me to step into his role.
It’s been a fairly smooth transition so far. I worked very closely with Marcel and we were very in line with what we saw for the future of the union, so I think I’m in a good place to start.
I am very grateful to him. He was a true trailblazer for Canada, both as a player and president, and his dedication and reliability were a mainstay in the association’s early days. We grew from non-existence to a federation of Canada. Having someone like him to spread the word and rally the players was invaluable. He took the risk and took the first step. We are very fortunate that we have the strong foundation that he and our CEO Dan Kruk laid on which we can continue to build. Even in those early years it was important to me to have him as a role model and I’m going to do everything I can to make him and his legacy proud.
I believe the association has a unique opportunity to increase support for the players, along with the growing popularity of the sport. We are entering our fifth year in the Canadian Premier League, while internationally the women’s team has recently been crowned Olympic champions under the leadership of the world’s leading goalscorer. The professionalism of the game is growing at a rapid pace and the Federation is growing alongside it, which means we can ensure that our players are properly supported every step of the way.
It is wonderful that soccer players choose to live in Canada and now we can provide the infrastructure and incentives not only to encourage local talent to stay but also to attract players from around the world. It’s an exciting time for Canadian soccer and I hope that in time we can match the achievements of MLS in the United States.