Lifestyle

Published January 29, 2024

Simcoe County Rovers Men's Team Gears Up for Exciting 2024 Season

Simcoe County Rovers

The Simcoe County Rovers FC are getting ready for an exhilarating 2024 season, fueled by the anticipation of defending their championship title and making their mark in the Canadian Championships. With a core group of key players returning, including League 1 Ontario 2023 All Star and Star Striker Jevonte Layne, excitement is building among fans as the team prepares to embark on what promises to be a thrilling journey.

RELATED: Core players return to Simcoe County Rovers Women's Team in 2024 ...

In 2023, The Rovers made headlines with a spectacular championship victory, clinching the title with a resounding 4-2 win against Scrosoppi FC in the finals. Now, as they enter their third season, the team is not only focused on retaining their League 1 Ontario crown but also on representing the league in the prestigious Canadian Championships. 

This competition will see them face off against top Canadian teams, including Major League Soccer giants like Toronto FC, Vancouver Whitecaps, and CF Montreal, as well as teams from the Canadian Premier League and League 1 Canada.

The announcement of key player signings for the 2024 season has further fueled excitement among Rovers fans.

Layne expressed his enthusiasm for re-signing with the Rovers for 2024 saying, “Re-signing with the Rovers wasn’t a debate. We have the best coaching staff and an ownership group who want to see each player continue to improve everyday and reach our full potential. We also have the best fans in the league who make playing for the Rovers even more enjoyable. Defending the L10 title this season provides us with even more of a challenge since every team we face will make it their goal to beat the champions”. 

Newly appointed Head Coach Zico Mahrady is delighted to have secured the core group of players from last year and is eager to build on the team's success. He emphasized the importance of continuity and shared his excitement for the upcoming season.

“We are pleased to welcome back our core players for the upcoming season. Their return not only brings experience, leadership on and off the field, and knowledge of how we do things, but it also allows us to strengthen our continuity as we look to build on last year. Their commitment and trust in what we do, enhance our collective drive toward excellence as we continue to prepare for and look forward to the year ahead.” 

Club President Julian de Guzman echoed Mahrady's sentiments, highlighting the team's commitment to defending their title and making history in the Canadian Championships. He praised the coaching staff for their efforts in recruiting top-quality players and retaining fan favorites, emphasizing the importance of bringing exciting football to the Simcoe region.

Alejandro Portal, who represented Cuba at the 2019 CONCACAF Gold Cup and is a two-time League 1 Champion, spoke of his leadership role on the team and the honor of sharing his knowledge with younger teammates. 

“I take my responsibilities as one of the more experienced players on the squad very seriously. My family sacrificed a lot and I overcame many obstacles to achieve each and every milestone in my career, so it’s an honour to be able to share some of what I’ve learned, both on and off the field, with my younger teammates. But, to make it to the end of the season where we want to be, it takes every member of the squad, regardless of age or experience, bringing their best selves every time they step onto the pitch. I’m also still growing myself. In soccer and in life, there is always more to learn, so it’s important to stay humble - and stay hungry.” 

I’d be remiss not to mention the opportunity to play in the Canadian Championship, but I’ve also found my place here with the Rovers. From having the most supportive fan base in the league and a leadership team who understands players’ needs to talented coaches and dedicated teammates, there’s no other League1 Ontario team I would rather sign with this season.”  

As players - and as an organization, we’re always looking for the next challenge. Our eyes are always on the next prize. From the moment we secured the title last season, all of our focus has been on bringing it home again. I don’t think many people have been able to accomplish that, so I’m definitely proud, but as players - and as an organization, we’re always looking for the next challenge. Our eyes are always on the next prize. From the moment we secured the title last season, all of our focus has been on bringing it home again.” 

Defender Tajay Reid, another key player in the Rovers' championship-winning squad, also expressed his excitement about the upcoming season and the team's strong camaraderie. He emphasized the team's shared goal of defending their title and making history by becoming the first League 1 Ontario team to win the championship back-to-back.

The Simcoe County Rovers Men’s and Women’s teams will kick off their 2024 season in April, with home matches taking place at J.C Massie Field at Georgian College, Barrie. Fans can visit the official Rovers website for more information on ticket purchases and sponsorship opportunities.

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