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Bradford boy recruited to TFC Junior Academy

Eight-year-old Silas Leung recently signed a contract with Toronto Football Club's Junior team

The Bradford Wolves soccer club is pleased to announce that one of their players, eight-year-old  Silas Leung has signed a contract with the Toronto Footbal Club Juniors (TFCJ). 

Silas and his family moved to Bradford in October 2019. He started playing soccer when he was just a tot, and his dad Homer Leung says their family is thankful for the opportunity to join the team. 

Toronto FC Juniors runs programs across the GTA.  Director of TFC Juniors Dino Lopez said the purpose of the program is to provide the best player-centred training environment for grassroots players in the city, bring the TFC brand to the local community, and to see as many players as possible so they can identify them to play for their Academy and, hopefully, one day for the First Team.

”Silas has trained with us through our partners, Bradford Wolves, for over a year and stood out immediately when we first saw him.  Most top players stand out for their technical ability but Silas is also a player who is mature beyond his years, trains very well and is a competitor,” said Lopez.

Lopez notes the selection process is very difficult and, although a player may be one of the top players in a region, there are other talented players in every location where they have programming.

The TFC brings all of the top players to a program called Selects and now trialists have to be one of the top performers in that group, as well. All of the Selects participants are excellent players, so for Silas to be selected for Pre-Academy is a significant accomplishment, noted Lopez.

”Silas is the third player we have identified through the program we run with Bradford Wolves. Richard and Joses Chukwu, who are also from Bradford, started with the academy last year. It’s clear that the region has talent. We’re eager to see the next group of players who follow in Silas’ footsteps,” said Lopez.

Being part of the team means Silas is now practicing in Toronto three days a week. 

"Silas told us he wanted to be a professional soccer player when he grows up since he was six-years-old," said his dad Homer. "Silas is now one step closer in making his dream come true."

Homer says it is a good starting point to a professional career, and that his son is aware of the hard work ahead of him. 

"He will need to keep working hard everyday and stay focused to work toward his dream," he said.  

Silas's coach from the Bradford Wolves Roberto Pagilaroli is thrilled for the young athelete. 

"We are sure Silas will have a long and lasting soccer career under the watchful eye of TFCJ," he said. "We would like to thank TFCJ for the trust they have in us to evaluate, train and identify future professional soccer players."

General Manager for the Bradford Wolves, Tony Gutta say he is proud of Silas.

"It's nice to see that with the skilled development training that he received he may have a better future in a sport that he loves," he said. 

Gutta is pleased with the club and the programs being offered to youth in town. 

"We have put some key pieces in our club that will set us apart from other clubs," he said, noting that they are an official traning partner with the TFC, and have just secured one of the most sought-after coaches in Ontario , Ricardo Isgro, as their technical director. 

The Bradford Wolves will be offering development programs throughout the fall and winter. Registration is currently open on their website here.

 




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Natasha Philpott

About the Author: Natasha Philpott

Natasha is BradfordToday's Community Editor. She graduated from the Media Studies program at The University of Guelph-Humber. She lives in Bradford with her husband, two boys and two cats
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