KINGSTON RESERVES WIN SECOND DIVISION – Upcoming Playoffs Update
Kingston chairman Lorne Abugov was unabashedly bold and confident mid-May when he announced his reserve team – which barely made the playoffs in 2013 – will finish at, or near the top this season. “Our reserve team will be much stronger,” he added to the prediction.
With three games remaining in the regular season schedule, Kingston FC B have won the Second Division and will be accompanied in the playoffs by Burlington SC B, SC Waterloo B, Milton SC, Toronto Croatia B, York Region Shooters B, Niagara United B and Brampton City Utd B.
Kingston reserves, together with the next three teams in the final standings, will have home advantage in the post season games leading to the Second Division championship.
The First Division playoff picture is not as clear, with just two teams, York Region Shooters and Toronto Croatia, having secured playoff spots.
What is clear is the optimism of most clubs to clinch a playoff spot, to be one of the favoured eight. An unusual flurry of transfer activity to bolster teams’ chances of winning the coveted championship took place just before the September 1 roster freeze.
Included in the league office activity were players having already left their mark on the league during the current season, such as Kingston’s 2013 MVP and rookie of the year Guillaume Surot, a prolific striker, who was landed by London City. Other players arrived from elsewhere in Canada and a several from other countries
Bojan Stepanovic arrived from Europe to join Burlington, Milos Ljubenovic and Bojan Vranic came from Serbia to sign for Serbian White Eagles, Lukas Bajer is here from FC Milsami Moldova and is now with Kingston FC, Oleh Mykhaliu from the Ukraine to Brampton City Utd, Kenan Kajic, Osman Begovic and Hamdija Delihodic from Bosnia to Milton FC, Dyan Bams from England to York Region Shooters, and Corey Faughnan from the NPSL’s Cape Coral Hurricanes, Florida to Kingston FC.
More locally, Andrei Badescu from Montreal Impact of MLS to Kingston FC, Oscar Cordon from TFC Academy to Serbian White Eagles, Matthew Silva came from the Toronto Lynx to join North York Astros, Haris Fazlagic was transferred from SC Waterloo to London City, Marc Jankovic transferred from Brampton City to North York Astros, Pero Menalo and Igor Krampotic were transferred from Milton FC to Toronto Croatia and Shawn Brown is on loan from SC Waterloo to Toronto Croatia.
CSL administrator Pino Jazbec, responsible for ensuring the often complex transfer deals are properly completed before the roster freeze, said the amount of transfer activity was higher than usual at this time of year. “But it’s a good sign, it confirms the high level of interest in the championship playoffs and that winning a championship continues to be what all clubs aspire to,” he said.
For the time being, Kingston FC will be celebrating winning the Second Division this weekend and Abugov has emphasized that Kingston FC wants to develop players – and building a strong reserve team is the way to do that. “Our reserves play an exciting brand of football which is well worth watching,” he said this week.
The CSL Championship Finals will be hosted by North York Astros at Esther Shiner Stadium in North York on Sunday, October 26, with the league’s Gala Awards night the previous evening, Saturday, October 25.