The announcement that the Brantford Galaxy would compete this summer came little more than a week ago from Andrew Pilkington, the man behind the effort to bring the team to Brantford, and also the Chair of Brantford Inter-City Soccer.
“It will be a great opportunity for soccer in this city and the community in general,” Pilkington said.
That idea was furthered by CSL Executive Director Stan Adamson.
“There were suggestions of Brantford because their grassroots soccer is so strong,” Adamson said. “There are people in Brantford with a passion for soccer and the community, that’s what we’re looking for. We felt the people and community were the right fit.”
Brantford was the second team announced this year as the CSL expanded, with one team being awarded to nearby Hamilton and the other to Milton. With the expansion, the league now has 13 teams playing in two divisions, International and National.
The Galaxy will play in the National Division, which will have them face teams from Trois-Rivieres to London and multiple cities in between, including the Toronto FC Academy Team. The International Division is for teams that represent the culture of origin of their players.
With this team comes newfound life to the sports scene in Brantford. Not only will the Galaxy be entering a professional team, but they will also enter a team in the reserve league, which is aimed at developing younger players so that they can fulfill their goals of making it to the pros.
The teams’ rosters are made up by professionals from around the world, putting the operating budget at each team between $150,000 to $250,000. This also means that there may not necessarily be any Brantford natives on the squad.
Regardless, the CSL will bring a spark back into the Brantford sports scene. The team will be the first pro sports franchise in the city since the Brantford Connexion, a basketball team in the Ontario Professional Basketball League which folded after just a few games, as did the league.
Following the loss of the Blast this season, sports fans can rejoice knowing that Brantford is still on the sporting map.
Games will be played at Lions Park, with home matches hopefully slated for Sunday nights, to allow more families to play and to not interfere with Brantford Red Sox scheduling. Tickets are reportedly going to cost $10, no comment has been made if there will be a student price.
The CSL season runs May-September, concluding with the CSL playoffs and championship. Last year each team played eighteen games, the schedule for the upcoming season has yet to be announced.