Hamilton Football Club has entered into an affiliation arrangement with the Guelph Royals Soccer Club. The arrangement is meant to promote player and coaching development within Guelph SC and to provide exposure for Hamilton FC.
Hamilton FC includes a men’s and a women’s top level amateur team. The men play in the Premier Development League (PDL) and the women in the W-league; both represent the highest level of amateur soccer in North America. These teams provide elite collegiate and amateur players with an opportunity to continue to play at a higher level of competitive soccer after they’ve completed their youth soccer experience.
Through the affiliation, Guelph SC will have a pathway for its elite youth athletes to reach the next level of competitive soccer after completing their youth programs. There will be access to Hamilton FC players for mentoring programs and support to their technical staff to the benefit of both players and coaches. Boys and girls will be able to serve as ball boys and ball girls during Hamilton FC games, which will feature half-time mini-games for the Guelph players.
There will be demonstration practice sessions to support coaching development in addition to collaboration and participation between the clubs’ technical staffs. The Guelph club will be offered fundraising opportunities through ticket sales and seasons tickets to Hamilton FC games will be provided to the Guelph coaches.
Hamilton FC gains an affiliation with a strong and aspiring youth club with opportunities for the Hamilton players to participate in the youth development programs offered by Guelph SC technical staff.
Ruben Flores, technical director of Guelph SC, is excited by the opportunities afforded its members through the relationship. “This affiliation completes our pyramid of play at the club, injects more technical skill and experience into our player and coach development programs, and provides a great focus to further develop our soccer community in the city.”
Hamilton FC Director of Football, Brett Mosen expressed his enthusiasm for the relationship, “This is a great opportunity for both our clubs. It gives HFC terrific additional exposure in the Guelph community and enables us to supplement each other’s programs. In the end, players and coaches from organizations will benefit.”
The United Soccer League’s PDL is top developmental men’s league in North American with 64 teams last season across the United States, Canada and the Caribbean. The PDL season consists of 16 regular season matches for each team, eight home and eight away. In addition to league play, PDL teams compete in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup as well as various exhibitions.
The W-League is the first and longest-standing women’s soccer league in North America, featuring the highest level of women’s soccer in the United States and Canada. The 2012 W-League campaign features 30 teams in three regional conferences playing 12-14 regular season matches.