Pickering FC Can’t Field League1 Ontario Premier Division Teams This Year
League1 Ontario side Pickering FC has confirmed that it will not be fielding teams in the premier division for the 2023 season after failing to find a club partner.
The team confirmed the news last night, stating that while it will still field squads in the reserve division at the U-19 and U-21 levels, premier division teams for the men’s and women’s side are unfortunately a no-go.
“The club has worked hard throughout the winter to find a partner for the 2023 season but sadly in the last 48 hours it has been confirmed that this would not be feasible,” read a statement from the team.
The 2023 League1 Ontario season schedule is expected to be revealed shortly. The results of this year’s campaign will determine which clubs fall into the first or second divisions of League1 Ontario’s new multi-tiered, promotion and relegation structure set for next year, and we imagine at a minimum this means that Pickering FC will be placed in the second division by default.
The club had returned to League1 Ontario under new ownership last year, with club owners Ritchie Jeune and Chris Rivette – who both founded USL2 side South Bend Lions three years ago – bringing Pickering FC back onto the pitch after a two-year hiatus.
Established in 1984, Pickering FC became a founding member of the League1 Ontario men’s division in 2014 and then a founding member of its women’s division a year later, with the women’s side recording two championships in the following four seasons. It was also the first club that USL Championship defender Morey Doner played for.
Last year saw the men’s team finish 14th and the women’s 17th, with PFC stating that it looks forward to a more positive outcome in 2024.
The 2023 League1 Ontario schedule will launch later today, and will likely address the loss of a team. A similar situation unfolded last year, with 1812 FC folding before being quickly replaced by Burlington SC ahead of the season, while Toronto Skillz FC sold its license to Electric City FC.