Canadian Premier League seeks talented African footballers to develop league
London, Jan. 3, 2020 (AltAfrica)-The fledgling Canadian Premier League is seeking talented African footballers to help propel the league to global recognition
The commissioner of the Canadian Premier League (CPL), David Clanachan, who made this known believes young African talent can give their careers a boost by playing in the country’s top-flight football league
The first season of the CPL was held in 2019 and featured 30 foreign players, including six from Africa.
Two of those players, Cameroonian Bertrand Owundi, 26, and Elimane Cisse, 24, from Senegal, were part of the Hamilton-based Forge FC squad that won the inaugural Canadian title.
Clanachan was in no doubt when asked whether the CPL was ready to welcome African youngsters: ”The answer is absolutely yes.”
”We’re looking around the globe for talented players.
“We’re actually working with people outside of north America to help us unearth that talent as well.
“We see an opportunity for young players, especially international young players to come in, and be able to get first-team minutes and lots of first-team minutes in order to be able to, you know, develop and hone their skills.”
And his hopes are being answered already with Winnipeg-based Valour FC signing 19-year-old Solomon Kojo Antwi from Ghanaian side Glow Lamp Academy, which is owned by former Ghana international Nii Odartey Lamptey.
The commissioner does, however, admit that the CPL is going to be a stepping stone for these young talented players.
“We see ourselves as a development league,” Clanachan added.
“So if I’m a younger player, you know, I’m going to look at this league and say, ‘this is a perfect place for me to go get to be able to play against good competition’.
“And so anyone that comes into our league, they have to know that we consider ourselves a developing league.
”We’re going to develop players and we’re not going to hold people back. If people want to and if they’re able they can go onto bigger and better leagues.”
The CPL gives clubs the chance to play in the preliminary rounds of the Concacaf Champions League as well as in the Canadian Championships, which features teams who play in Major League Soccer (MLS)