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NFSC to Join the Ontario Player Development League!

By Christina Stranges, 09/22/20, 1:00PM EDT


The Niagara Falls Soccer Club is pleased to announce that we have been accepted into the OPDL (Ontario Player Development League)! 

After years, many hours of work, and collaboration, NFSC is proud to say that we will be working alongside Ontario Soccer,  other affiliate Clubs in Niagara, and our District towards raising the standards of Soccer in Niagara and working towards the development of players in our Region.

We are so excited and currently at a loss for words.  We thank Ontario Soccer for their acceptance and we are already diving in, working towards 2021 and a great year of Soccer ahead!

To find out more about the OPDL - Ontario Player Development Program please visit the OPDL website.

Please see the official Press Release from Ontario Soccer below!



Bulletin #: I2020-100

Date: Sept. 22, 2020

Ontario Soccer’s Player Development Program has announced that Niagara Falls Soccer Club will join the Ontario Player Development League (OPDL) for 2021 and 2022.

After a comprehensive review process that started in 2019, the Board of Directors of Ontario Soccer recently approved the Niagara Falls SC OPDL application.

They will join 29 other license holders in Ontario, made up of Clubs and Academies, from around the province, which supports the advancement of athletes along with Ontario Soccer’s
Talented Pathway.

OPDL represents young players early graduation to a genuine high-performance training environment, targeting the top athletes in the province, with what is the highest level of youth competitive soccer in Ontario. Unlike other leagues, the OPDL operates
more as a high-performance training program than merely a league.

“Niagara Falls SC is a well-established soccer organization operating out of the Niagara Soccer District for over 60 years, the club has served the community, operating grassroots and competitive programs and is now expanding its reach into high
performance training,” said Johnny Misley, Chief Executive Officer of Ontario Soccer.

“Establishing the OPDL program in Niagara Falls will galvanize soccer in the region and help enhance avenues for talent identification in the Province, as well as provide another
step for athletes, coaches and match officials along the Talented Pathway.”

In support to their OPDL application, Niagara Falls Soccer Club has formed formal affiliations with Lincoln SC, Fort Erie SC, Niagara-on-the-Lake SC and the St. Catherines Jets to support
the OPDL program in the region.

In addition to formal affiliations, Niagara Falls SC has also established a working relationship with Welland SC and Niagara Falls United, the other two largest clubs in the District. Together they have aligned programming for the development of grassroots

“An OPDL License in Niagara Falls represents the consolidation of the program in another key area of the Province,” said Gabriel Assis, Ontario Soccer Senior Manager, Player Development. “This ensures that we continue to meet the objectives of talent
identification, development and advancement across Ontario.”

Launched in 2014 with the 2001 age group, the OPDL is the provinces' premier standards-based, youth high-performance program and league that combines top-level competition
with strict high performance training standards. This innovative high-performance program is an important component of the overall movement to adopt the core principles of Long Term Player Development (LTPD) across soccer at large in Ontario and Canada.

In 2019, 80 per cent of Ontario’s male Provincial Teams were made up of OPDL players.  Additionally, 80 per cent of that year’s new intake to Toronto FC Academy were from the OPDL.

On the female side in 2019, over 93 per cent of Provincial Players identified were originally from OPDL organizations. Within the Canada Soccer Regional Excel program, over 94 per cent of participants were made up of OPDL players.

There were 149 OPDL teams in 2019 and over 2,300 players. Since 2014, the OPDL Athlete Scholarship Program has made $461,000 available to players who have demonstrated a commitment to development and have great technical potential, to
ensure that OPDL is more affordable for as many families as possible.
Visit for more information.

About Ontario Soccer - Founded in 1901, Ontario Soccer is comprised of more than 650 Clubs and Private Academies servicing over 24,000 teams with 380,000 registered players, 70,000 coaches and managers, and 10,000 match officials, as well as countless volunteers, parents and supporters comprising a direct, multi-cultural community of over 1,000,000 Ontarians.

Ontario Soccer develops and delivers exceptional and sustainable programs and services throughout Ontario with the mission of providing leadership and support for the advancement of soccer in collaboration and cooperation with our membership, partners
and other stakeholders. Ontario Soccer also operates the Ontario Player Development League (OPDL) - the province’s premier standards-based youth development program and proudly supports Canada Soccer’s National Teams, the Canadian Premier League and Toronto FC.

An overall goal of Ontario Soccer is to assist with the development of soccer as a healthy lifestyle choice, provide a talented pathway for players to excel and encourage community involvement at all levels.