Spotted: Elliot Simmons Training With Barnet
Vancouver FC defensive midfielder Elliot Simmons is keeping busy during the long Canadian offseason.
We spotted the 25-year-old central midfielder training with National League side Barnet FC, who currently rest third in league play as they seek promotion back into the English Football League.
That makes him the second Vancouver FC athlete to hop the pond over to England this offseason, with 18-year-old defender James Cameron also testing himself with trial stints at multiple Premier League sides.
As we subsequently gleamed from sources, Simmons – who was born in Luton – was given a green light from Vancouver FC for a training stint while back in his home country, and is set to continue on with Barnet for a further month. This training stint marks the 25-year-old’s first return to English football since his time at MK Dons some seven years ago.
Having made 108 appearances for Canadian Premier League sides over the last five years, Simmons is one of the top appearance leaders within the ranks of Canada’s top flight, where he has represented three clubs. Before turning pro, he started his youth football in Ontario with the Goulbourn Soccer Club and the Ottawa Fury before returning to Europe to train with Milton Keynes Dons and Malaga CF academies.
He then turned professional in Sweden with Dalkurd FF and was loaned to Finnish side Mikkelin Palloilijat, after which he returned to Canadian soil to embark on a new adventure in the inaugural CPL season. Inking a deal with Halifax, he soon proved to be a standout in blue and was scooped up by Cavalry, spending three seasons with them before turning down a new deal to sign with Vancouver FC, who hold his contract for 2024.
This wouldn’t be the first time that Barnet has been a haven for CPL talent in the offseason: York United midfielder Michael Petrasso enjoyed a fruitful loan stint there back in 2021, procuring ten goals in thirty-one appearances and earning the moniker of ‘Canadian Messi’ amongst the Bees faithful. He’s now currently with Maidstone United.
Vancouver FC fans shouldn’t fear, however: Simmons is set to return to Vancouver for the club’s 2024 preseason camp, where Ghotbi will hope to build on the late season momentum that saw them win three of their last four games.
Header Image Photo Credit: Barnet FC (left and right), Beau Chevalier (middle)