Growing Links: Forge FC Announces Official Feeder Club
Three-time Canadian Premier League champion Forge FC has made an official affiliation with Hamilton United Elite, with the semi-professional soccer club – which fields League1 Ontario men’s and women’s teams – now becoming an official Forge FC Development Club.
The new agreement means that Hamilton United Elite will benefit from technical leadership and guidance for its youth club coaching staff that will be provided by Forge FC. The club will adopt Forge’s colour scheme of orange, steel, and white, with youth team players all getting Forge season passes.
“We are pleased to officially welcome Hamilton United into our organization as a Forge FC Development Club,” said Forge FC technical director and head Coach Bobby Smyrniotis. “We look forward to supporting the youth players and staff under one common club philosophy of Forge FC.”
Hamilton United Elite aren’t the first team to lock in a formal relationship with the Canadian Premier League’s most successful team, with Sigma FC – which was created by the Smyrniotis brothers in 2005 – having enjoyed a feeder club relationship with Forge from day one.
Sigma is the golden example of what that relationship can bring: several Forge players have spent time in the Sigma FC circuit in their youth days, and the club presently keeps a close watch over the next generation there, bringing some in on pro deals and inviting others to train with the team. To that end, Forge says that Sigma FC and Hamilton United Elite won’t be the only teams to join in as formal development clubs.
“We are confident that this will be a game-changer for our club and soccer community,” added Hamilton United President Sam Di Santo, who said the partnership will provide his club with new resources, expertise, and opportunities for growth.
It’s a symbiotic relationship: while it helps professionalize these youth clubs and create a stronger link to the professional level, it also helps Forge engrain itself directly into the culture of a new generation of sporting fans, too.
Hamilton United Elite enjoyed some 23 goals from forward Miles Green last season, with Forge FC selected the young striker in the 2023 CPL Draft. While not formally signed yet, he’s been training with the team for preseason and could make history as the first player to transition to the pro level following the announcement of the club affiliation.
The 2023 League1 Ontario season will kick off on April 13.