Julian de Guzman Joins 1812 FC Barrie As President, Co-Owner
It’s no secret that potential League1 Ontario expansion side 1812 FC is backed by an ambitious ownership group, with the newly-formed team now bringing in a name that will be very familiar to Canadian soccer fans: Julian de Guzman.
The 39-year-old will join the Barrie-based club as both club president and co-owner. After having spent two years as the general manager of former USL side Ottawa Fury, the former national team regular will bring in a significant skillset to the Huronia area.
The administrative side of the club is off to a strong start: backed by veteran entrepreneur Andrew Weilgus and Canadian soccer familiar Peter Raco, the club has partnered with Barrie SC to contribute to the technical side of things and has instilled a supporters’ trust to encourage community ownership, too. With Julian de Guzman now entering the fold, the quality of club operations is already looking rock solid.
On the playing side of the game, the club has three players committed to the 2021 League1 Ontario season (assuming the club is able to join the league without issue): former Toronto FC man Jeremy Hall, and two unnamed athletes who are described as ‘an Ontario veteran with USl experience’ and another player that Weilgus states ‘will probably be too good for the side to keep’.
During his tenure at the Ottawa Fury, de Guzman had once said there were still many unanswered questions about the Canadian Premier League. The atmosphere at 1812 FC is different, however, with the club having already made it clear that they’d love to eventually join the domestic professional league if the eventual move made sense. For now, however, the club is committed to smaller steps starting with getting approval to play League1 Ontario to ensure the venture is sustainable.
While the pandemic has forced many businesses to shut down, it actually accelerated the growth of 1812 FC: owner Andrew Weilgus found himself with nothing but time on his hands after his NPSL side, Atlantic City FC, was paused due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Familiar with the area by way of a familial connection, he became involved with grassroots discussions that eventually blossomed into the launch of 1812 FC.
With Julian de Guzman now taking an important role in club operations, the future of soccer in Barrie is looking bright. The club will hold a formal press conference regarding de Guzman joining the side next Tuesday.