Midfielders Jean-Yves Ballou Tabla and Jessie Fleming have been named Canadian U-17 Players of the Year for the 2014 season. The two players won the honour in a vote shared by national team coaches (50%) and Canadian clubs and coaches (50%).
Tabla is a member of Canada’s Men’s U-17 Team and the Panellinios Soccer Club in Montreal, QC.
Tabla was also selected the male youth player of 2014 by the Quebec Soccer Federation. He is currently training with Canada’s Men’s U-17 Team in Florida as they get set for next year’s CONCACAF U-17 Championship in Honduras.
“Tabla is a creative player. He is mature for his age, how he approaches the game. He is very dynamic. It is so obvious how much he loves his football by the way he trains and by how coachable he is,” said Sean Fleming, Head Coach of Canada’s Men’s U-17 Team. “He is a great teammate and has a great individual quality yet maintains it within a team concept.”
Fleming burst onto the national stage in 2014 as the captain of Canada’s Women’s U-17 Team that made it to the quarterfinals of the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup Costa Rica 2014 and then was part of Canada’s Women’s U-20 Team that reached the quarters at the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Canada 2014. A member of the London Nor’West Soccer Club in London, ON, Fleming also made four appearances with Canada’s Women’s National Team to bring her total to eight appearances overall.
“The first thing that stands out to me is that Jessie is committed to be better. She was our captain and I think she led by example with her hard work and determination,” said Women’s U-17 Team Head Coach Bev Priestman. “She has fantastic talent but it’s not just her talent that’s shown her acceleration over the last eight months. It’s an unbelievable talent but it’s also a mindset and really high standards.”
Tabla finished in first ahead of Matthew Baldisimo (Vancouver Whitecaps FC Residency / Burnaby, BC), and Harrison Paton (Fulham FC Academy / Kitchener, ON). Fleming finished ahead of Marie Levasseur (CS Haute St-Charles / Stoneham, QC) and Bianca St-Georges (Laser de Joliette / Québec City, QC.).
Wednesday, Canada Soccer will announce the 2014 Canadian U-20 Players of the Year, and on Thursday, Canada Soccer will announce the 2014 BMO Canadian Players of the Year. Liam Stanley was announced on Monday as the 2014 Canadian Para Soccer Player of the Year.
CANADIAN U-17 PLAYERS OF THE YEAR
2014 – Jean-Yves Ballou Tabla & Jessie Fleming
2013 – Marco Carducci & Sura Yekka
2012 – Marco Carducci & Ashley Lawrence
2011 – Bryce Alderson & Ashley Lawrence
2010 – Bryce Alderson & Diamond Simpson
2009 – Russell Teibert & Abigail Raymer
2008 – Russell Teibert & Monica Lam-Feist
2007 – Olivier Lacoste-Lebuis & Monica Lam-Feist