July 18, 2024
  • July 18, 2024
Atlantic Women's FC

Halifax To Get Pro Women’s Soccer Team

By on March 12, 2024 0 5551 Views

Update: Project8 later confirmed Halifax as a launch city on April 9, 2024.

The latest team to join Project 8 appears to have unveiled itself, with Atlantic Women’s FC – with full team name and branding still to be revealed – announcing itself on Canada’s east coast.

“In the heart of our vibrant city, a new era in sports is about to begin as we unveil our very own professional women’s soccer team,” read a statement from the club’s new website, stating it will compete in a newly created Canadian professional women’s soccer league presumed to be Project 8.

The appearance of the website seems to confirm that Halifax will join Calgary, Toronto, and Vancouver as launch cities for a domestic professional women’s soccer league in Canada, with the tentatively-titled Project 8 sports league planning to launch in 2025.

What’s more, current job postings for the newly-minted east coast professional women’s soccer club state that there will be six founding members of the league, meaning the destinations for the majority of the inaugural clubs are now known.

The provincial company listing shows plenty of female-led east coast influence, with Marie Bowie, Amanda Sparkes, Tara Larsen, Courtney Sherlock, Miriam Zitner, and Andrea Thompson listed as directors.

Bowie is a former national team player born and raised in Halifax, while Sparkes and Zitney both work in the business acceleration space. Larsen brings a financial background as the CFO of CBCL Limited, Dr. Courtney Sherlock was named as one of Atlantic Canada’s top fifty CEOs back in 2022, and Andrea Thompson had once been the President of the Halifax County United Soccer Club.

Diana Matheson (centre) is the co-founder of Project 8.

The east coast team becomes the first club to publicly attach itself to Project 8 since the league unveiled itself with AFC Toronto, the Calgary Foothills, and the Vancouver Whitecaps committed as launch teams.

When we spoke with Matheson one year ago, she said the league was looking to secure locations more eastwards than they had been, with Halifax certainly ticking that box – though she’d also wanted to cover some ground in the Prairies, an area where Canada’s male professional league has yet to plant a flag either.

Project 8 has yet to formally unveiled Atlantic Women’s FC, and may be waiting until the team name and branding are ready before introducing the league’s fourth-ever club to fans one year ahead of its intended launch. For now, details such as where the team will play and who will occupy the front office remain to be seen.

See Also: Here’s The Halifax Wanderers’ Permanent Stadium Proposal

This December saw Hokulani Limited CEO Daniel Loitz announce that he had acquired franchise rights to a team in Project 8, with location and team identity set to be revealed in the spring. We approached Matheson for details regarding this venture – particularly as Project8 did not make any announcement of its own – but never got an answer back.

Atlantic Women’s FC has put our a call for investors, sponsorship, and employment, asking interested individuals to email them here. While it claims to be involved in the only professional women’s sports league in the country, the PWHL has been off to a hot start in 2024.

Elsewhere, Canadian Olympic icon Andre De Grasse recently invested in AFC Toronto City, joining the club’s ownership group two months ago. The league itself has secured CIBC, Air Canada, Canadian Tire, and Doordash as founding partners.

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