Club raises the bar

FC LONDON players celebrate the 2017 League1 Cup championship

Since the beginning of the 2017 season, FC LONDON’s League1 women’s coach knew that he had something special: A group of young women, all from London, who trained hard and were focused on one goal … to excel at their sport.

“As the team started the season, you could see the passion for the game and the camaraderie that each player had for their teammates,” said Michael Marcoccia, League1 Ontario’s ‘Top Coach’ in 2016.

The FC LONDON ladies certainly haven’t disappointed. Starting with the club’s U21 teams, both have exceeded expectations. Not only have both squads won their respective U21 OWSL divisions, by defeating top U21 teams from across the province, but they have also won scoring titles in both leagues, with Kaila Novak and Alexandra Hicks taking home the honours. As a 15-year-old, Novak was also selected to represent Canada at the U17 ‘4 Nations Tournament’ in China, where she started every game (against Japan, China, and the United States).

Further, the talented players have given Marcoccia a strong roster of call-up players for his League1 squad. So much strength, in fact, that the top women’s team won the CUP competition trophy, which they hoisted on a beautiful evening in August. Jade Kovacevic, meanwhile, is well on her way to winning the league scoring title too, rounding out a trifecta for the club in the 2017 season.

On the men’s side, a run of 10 games undefeated was not enough for FC LONDON to catch the top level of competition in the league this year, and teams like Sigma and Oakville Blue Devils led the way down the stretch towards the league title. This year’s winner will get a spot in the CONCACAF championship and compete against top professional teams from across the country.

The FC LONDON Academy has also made a huge splash this year by being accepted into the OPDL league, which will allow its teams to now play against Ontario’s best. The Academy’s young players will compete for OASL and OPDL glory in 2018.

“It’s been quite a year, starting with the Audi sponsorship, and now with loads of hardware to show for our efforts,” said FC LONDON president Ian Campbell. “Looking ahead to 2018, it’s great to be a part of something that is truly changing the soccer landscape here in London.”

Submitted by FC LONDON and photos by Martin Bazyl Photography