OAKVILLE BLUE DEVILS PREPARING FOR LAUNCH
Former championship standout Igor Prostran first to sign.
Oakville, Ont.--Thursday, March 31--It seems fitting that the first player to be signed by Oakville Blue Devils, the first professional team to represent Oakville in the Canadian Professional Soccer League, is Igor Prostran, a 26 year old midfielder.
Prostran's signing and the presence at a press conference on March 30 of popular veteran coach, Phil Iafrate, brought back to everyone those memorable days in 1998 when the under-19 Oakville Blue Devils won the Canadian Championship after capturing the Ontario Cup and the championship of the Ontario Youth Soccer League.
Prostran, who captained the Blue Devils and was top scorer and MVP at the national championships, showed a variety of skills that eventually took the Serbia-born midfielder back to Europe before he returned to Canada in 2004 as a member of the USL's First Division team Toronto Lynx.
"Igor has great ability and creates goalscoring chances in every game he plays," explained Duncan Wilde, himself a former pro in England and now president of Premier Soccer Academy, who, with partners Billy Steele and Danny Stewart aim to launch the pro Blue Devils as a title contender in the tough Western Conference of the 12-team CPSL.
Oakville Blue Devils is a franchise created out of the former Metro Lions, which for the past two years played out of Birchmount Stadium in Scarborough.
Blue Devils' president Bill Dixon and Jean Gandubert, Oakville Soccer Club's chief administrative officer, who with Wilde struck the deal to bring pro soccer to Oakville, were very much on the same wavelength at what Gandubert described as a "meet and greet occasion" rather than a press conference. Both said the presence of a professional team in the midst of Canada's largest soccer club is a logical step at this juncture of the club's growth and development. The Oakville club boasts 10,000 player registrations and Wilde announced that all youth players will be allowed free admission to home games at Bronte Stadium.
Exposure to this level of soccer is bound to help in the development of his club's young players, reasoned Gandubert who, as one of Canada's most respected soccer administrators is the former executive director of the Quebec Soccer Federation to work closely four years ago with the Hon. Denis Coderre, the then Secretary of State for Amateur Sport in the Liberal government, to further soccer in Canada.
Blue Devils will open their season at Bronte Stadium against nearby Brampton Stallions on June 2.
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