Canada Soccer Makes Massive Changes To Front Office
On Tuesday Canada Soccer announced a bunch of changes to its front office.
Jason de Vos has officially been named interim general secretary after Earl Cochrane announced he was resigning from the position earlier in the week.
Canada’s former president Nick Bontis also resigned a few months back, stating change was needed to advance in labour talks with both the men’s and women’s teams.
De Vos will start on May 12, with Canada Soccer stating that he ‘becomes the operational leader of the organization, working closely with the board of directors, in consultation with the Canada Soccer membership and key stakeholders.’
He was part of John Herdman’s coaching staff at last year’s World Cup and says that while he didn’t ask for the job, he didn’t hesitate when Canada Soccer reached out to him.
“I think there’s definitely a period of discovery for me,” he said of his new role. “I’m obviously aware of the labour talks with the players. As a former player and very recent coach, I’m very familiar with what the players are looking for and I’ve experienced that myself.”
“So the player negotiations are absolutely a priority for us, as an organization, and we need to have those conversations and will do that as quickly as possible… I’m looking forward to sitting down with the players.”
De Vos has already reached out to both the men’s and women’s teams to let them know and that he is looking forward to working with and supporting them in every way possible.
This summer is big for both teams with the women heading down under to Australia to compete at the 2023 World Cup and the men who will be playing the 2023 Gold Cup.
Both teams are hungry and looking to finish the summer with trophies.
Other notable changes at Canada Soccer are interim vice president Kelly Brown, Chief Operating Officer Mathieu Chamberland, and Paulo Senra, who is the new head of public relations and communications.
De Vos sees positivity despite the current situation the organization is in.
“One thing that kept coming back to me was just how good we are at certain things. And we don’t trumpet that enough. And we don’t celebrate how well we do certain things,” said DeVos. “I would say we organize grassroots soccer probably better than any other country in the world.”
“And there’s a wide range of people, from volunteers to technical staff to coaches, administrators, board members who give up their time to create this soccer ecosystem that we have in Canada which is really quite remarkable. So it’s very easy to get bogged down in the negativity and to gloss over the positive things that we are doing.”
He credited the women’s team for winning gold in Tokyo saying it was an amazing accomplishment that should be lauded and celebrated.
He also spoke about the men finally reaching the World Cup for the first time in 36 years.
“While we didn’t get the results that we maybe wanted in Qatar, or maybe deserved, we showed the world that we belong at that level and on that stage,” he said. “So I think we should be celebrating our players, we should be celebrating the game and get back to focusing on football.”
“But there’s a lot of other things that need to get done to be able to make that happen. The hope and the objective is to try and refocus our attention on the sport and on supporting our athletes and everyone who’s involved in the game at every level so that we’re pulling in the same direction.”
Due to his new position, de Vos will put his position on the coaching team on hold to focus on the task at hand.
There is no time frame for Jason de Vos’ new job, and when he was asked if he was interested in doing it full-time he answered “honestly I can’t answer that right now.”
“I say to my (development) team ‘We’re not in the football business, we’re in the relationships business. And football is the medium that we build those relationships through.’ I think this is a big piece of what my role is going to be as the interim general secretary, to re-establish those relationships, to rebuild in some cases those relationships, and get everyone playing on the same team in the same way so we’re all moving in the right direction.”