Baj Maan Named League1 Ontario’s Goalkeeper Of The Year
Former Forge FC goalkeeper Baj Maan has been named the League1 Ontario Men’s division goalkeeper of the year.
The 23-year-old proved a crucial figure for the Simcoe County Rovers’ championship-winning campaign, with Mann suiting up for the side in all but one of their matches. The Brampton-born goalkeeper conceded 21 goals in 19 regular season appearances.
Having helped the side win the playoff championship and qualify for the 2024 Canadian Championship, he’s now got a nice individual honour to add to his collection.
This season saw Maan trial with Pacific FC before landing in League1 Ontario pastures. When we last spoke to the young goalkeeper following his spell with TFC2, he was adamant on going somewhere who would give him playing time – and the Rovers certainly fit the bill.
Having developed with Sigma FC, Baj’s first steps near the pro game came on a developmental deal with Forge back in 2019. He didn’t manage to break through that year, but returned on a pro deal following a spell with Northern Kentucky University, going to make seven appearances for Hamiltonian side.
Last season saw him land with Toronto FC II, where minutes prove hard to come by. He looked sharp in an exhibition match against the Chelsea U-23 squad, and left hungry for game time in 2023.
That’s exactly what 2023 brought him, albeit down at the League1 Ontario level instead of the Canadian Premier League. Having won as much as one could in that time, however, it’ll be interesting to see what 2024 brings to the young goalkeeper’s plate.
Maan beat out four other finalists for the award, with three of the runners-up also having CPL experience: Andreas Vaikla (FC Edmonton / Scrosoppi FC), Svyatoslav Artemenko (Valour and York United / Electric City FC), and Darlington Murasiranwa (FC Edmonton and Valour FC / FC London).
The other runner-up was Guelph United’s Carter Robart, who had an impressive tally of seven clean sheets and three team of the week nods through the regular season.
Header Image Photo Credit: Martin Bazyl / League1 Ontario