As we enter 2021, the Canadian Premier League remains excited about this new year. We recognize that we must remain as patient – as we did in 2020 – but we see a number of possibilities which will bring us back onto the field in our home markets!
Innovation, creativity and adaptability remain at the forefront of our minds as we plan for the new season – utilizing the same approach that we demonstrated while creating our successful Island Games in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island last year.
This year, we will build on the success created by demonstrating our resolve to deliver the 2021 Season that our Supporters and Fans deserve.
We at the League office are working behind the scenes with our Owners, Clubs, Players and Staff to prepare our best year yet. While focused on playing our season, we continue to review multiple scenarios – with the safety of all at the forefront of our competition.
Our plans call for the start of play this Spring – while recognizing that a major factor will be our nation’s progress against this pandemic. Based on where we are right now, if health authorities say it is safe to do so, we are focused on targeting a start date of the Victoria Day long weekend (May 22, 2021) – Canada’s “unofficial start of summer”. To that end, we will remain flexible but also adaptable in our planning. To be clear, our ultimate goal is to see our Supporters in the stands as we take to the field!
It is also imperative that the Canadian Premier League delivers the highest level of professional soccer for our Supporters, Fans, Partners and Sponsors including some exciting initiatives.
On the Football Development side, we have updated our ground-breaking CPL-U SPORTS Draft to continue our focus on developing opportunities for young talented athletes to play professionally while continuing to pursue their education in Canada.
We have also made a number of changes for the 2021 season to add greater opportunity for young Canadian Players – including – increasing the Under 21 Domestic Player Minutes by 50%. This direction is a testament to our commitment to development of young players – the likes of Tristan Borges, Emilio Estevez and Tyler Attardo – who benefited from these rules and moved to other international markets to showcase their talents.
Read more about this updated rule here.
Our focus on Player Development has created an impact on quality of play and continues to garner attention. Canadian Premier League players are drawing invites to the National Team training camps in advance of an important U 23 Concacaf Olympic qualifying competition this year.
We have recently announced a partnership with Canada Soccer that presents Canadian Premier League players with a brand-new opportunity that leads them to one day join the professional coaching ranks. As part of the Canada Soccer Coach Education Program, CPL players can obtain their National ‘C/B’ coaching license in an expedited manner in recognition of their professional experience. Continuing to create talent at all levels of our game is key to advancing our country’s ability and standard of play.
Learn more about this new initiative here.