Rollins: Canadian Second Division Slated For 2022
According to Duane Rollins, Canada may be on track to get a division two league by 2022.
This league would be run independently from the Canadian Premier League, which has its own plans for a second division with promotion and relegation into the country’s top flight.
The launch of a second division league run independently of the CPL was first disclosed in late 2019 by sports reporter Simon Fudge, who stated that concerns from Canadian clubs sanctioned in the US spurred conversations about Canada getting a new league of its own below the CPL level.
That being said, Rollins suggests that those involved in the second division are open to the idea of an affiliation or other form of partnership with the CPL.
Both Fudge and Rollins state that this league would land in the second tier in the Canadian soccer pyramid, placing it above League1 Ontario. The national league would feature regional divisions, with Rollins emphasizing that clubs would mostly be coming in from west and central Canada.
Rollins suggested that most of the drive for this league is out west, which makes sense given that League1 Ontario and PLSQ already exist further east, while the likes of the Victoria Highlanders, TSS Rovers, and the Calgary Foothills have less competition close to home. That being said, there is already speculation that the former two clubs may be interested in the proposed League1 BC this year. It is unclear how that potential new league fits into the equation.
The league would be classified as pro/am, with NCAA and U SPORT athletes being joined by both local prospects and the occasionally older player that no longer can afford to play in the CanPL.Duane Rollins
It is claimed that the league would launch with ‘concrete plans’ for a women’s division, with hopes that when the 2022 launch date arrives that the women’s division would be able to launch alongside the men’s. Both Fudge and Rollins suggested that the league would play over the span of a short summer season, with Fudge having suggested something like May to August and Rollins having simply put forth the idea of a three month season.
The top four teams of the league may undergo a championship weekend to determine a winner at a neutral site, with the victor also earning entry into the Canadian Championship.
Duane suggests that the league could involve as many as twelve teams, some of whom are known to Canadian football fans already. When we talked with TSS Rovers co-owner Colin Elmes regarding joining long-rumoured League1 BC, he simply stated the following:
We have always supported the Canadian player and would be more than willing to enter into a sanctioned Canadian league platform once it’s properly vetted.Colin Elmes
While no concrete details of the rumoured second division have gotten out, another recent rumour post suggested that a second division with regional divisions was en route, with the rumour specifying that both that Edmonton Scottish and Calgary Foothills were involved. With different numbers of teams and varying details being thrown around, however, it’s best to take all the information with a grain of salt.
The CPL Wooden Spoon Twitter account also unearthed the news that an entity called the National League Soccer Inc. was registered in British Columbia on January 18, though it is unclear if this relates to the proposed league.
With the rumours of a full-fledged tier two division being added alongside the news that League1 BC could launch as soon as this summer (for which the Whitecaps openly stated they’d like to field a team in), it’s an interesting time for the growth of domestic football.
Rollins also touched on CPL expansion, stating that Quebec was still the leading candidate and the chance of a Prairie team joining in the next three years was next to zero. We spoke with the ownership group’s Joe Belan a few weeks ago, who stated that it was too early to tell if the SK Summer Soccer Series would be able to take place this year.
Sources: Duane Rollins, Simon Fudge