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Clanachan On Creation Of Women’s CPL: ‘Further Along Than I Expected’

By on August 6, 2019 0 3558 Views

When the Canadian Premier League was first announced, there was an obvious question that came attached to the confirmation of a domestic men’s professional league: was a women’s pro league to follow?

It’s a subject that Canadian Women’s National Team manager Kenneth Heiner-Møller touched on ahead of the Women’s World Cup, where he said he sincerely hoped one was coming. Canadian icon and legendary player Christine Sinclair was quick to echo this sentiment, stating that Canada needed to have a domestic professional league for women if the country was to sustain the level of play its national team has presently achieved.

Speaking with Duane Rollins and Kevin Laramee on the Two Solitudes Soccer Podcast today, Canadian Premier League commissioner David Clanachan revealed that progress towards such a league was ‘further along than he expected it to be’ at this stage:

Using League1 Ontario as a jumping off point, as Clanachan suggested, is a logical move: the semi-pro league has already established women’s teams, and on the men’s side there have been many League1 Ontario players who were able to make the jump up to the professional level.

If the majority of clubs are based in Ontario, at least initially, it also helps keep travel costs down – and in a country as big as Canada, that equates to a lot of budget savings while the league draws in fans and establishes stability.

Canadian Premier League fans interested in hearing more from The Two Solitudes Soccer Podcast will need to subscribe to the podcast’s Patreon for $2 a month in order to hear the rest of what Clanachan had to say on the subject (among other things).

With Clanachan stating that it’s far too early to suggest any kind of timeline for professional women’s soccer in Canada, it looks like this is a project for the far future once the newfound Canadian Premier League has proven itself to be a stable entity. The men’s side of the league already contends with a comparably small salary cap compared to the likes of MLS, along with a tough coast-to-coast travel schedule which hasn’t been easy on players or staff.

Still, the league has shown that it can play at a high level and draw in some good crowds. Clanachan hopes that a strong showing in the league’s first season will lead to at least one expansion club in 2020.

While it would be great to have a domestic option for Canadian female players who wish to turn professional, as things stand those who make the jump need to leave Canada to do so. A good recent example of this lies with Jordyn Huitema, who proved that she had the talent with the Vancouver Whitecaps Girls Elite, but had to move to France to push her career forward. As a result of these challenges, there are many players who end up falling through the cracks – and that’s something a Women’s Canadian Premier League would help change.

Whether the Canadian Premier League is able to implement a Women’s League in the future remains to be seen, but it’s good to see that the likes of David Clanachan and CPL President Paul Beirne are both looking at their options and making progress while doing so.

Source: Duane Rollins (via Twitter)

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