Cyle Larin Announced As Co-Owner Of Simcoe County Rovers
While the Simcoe County Rovers were only announced a month ago, it’s no secret that the prospective League1 Ontario team has big aspirations: the project is helmed by Peter Raco and former Ottawa Fury GM Julian de Guzman, with the duo now getting a big boost in terms of ownership profile.
Today, the Barrie-based club has announced that Canadian international Cyle Larin is a co-owner of the fledgling side, with the 26-year-old acquiring a minority stake in the club’s parent company, the Rovers Sports and Entertainment Group.
“Once young players have a pathway,” he told Joshua Kloke of The Athletic, “they can get there, and that’s what really stood out to me about being the owner of a team while I’m playing. It’s always been a dream of mine to keep growing the game in Canada.”
Cyle Larin and fellow co-owner Julian de Guzman go back quite a ways, with the duo having both been part of the Canadian national team setup. While Julian’s international career was winding down as Larin’s revved up, the two professional footballers struck up a friendship that eventually led to today’s announcement.
For Julian, the fact that a high-profile international like Cyle Larin is joining the fold is a massive coup for the fledgling team:
We are hyper-focused on attracting a number of high preforming individuals to the club to promote our female and male programs. Cyle is playing at the highest level internationally with Canada and at club level with Besiktas. He is known through the international soccer world and will bring tremendous amounts of knowledge and experiences to our players, and a vast network for our club. Bringing in Cyle is a massive coup for Simcoe County, the Rovers, and Ontario’s youth soccer community.Julian De Guzman
The club notes that there are several other individuals involved with the ownership group as well, stating that further owners will be unveiled over the next three months, along with members of the technical and management team.
Following its acceptance into the Huronia District Soccer Association and subsequent unveiling, the Simcoe County Rovers moved quickly to formalize youth partnerships with Aurora FC and Athlete Institute FC, with the Barrie Soccer club following Raco and de Guzman following their split with 1812 FC.
The newly-minted club is reportedly set to play from JC Massie Field on Barrie’s Georgian College campus, and is expected to apply to participate in League1 Ontario starting in 2022. Today, the club simply stated that it hopes to have an announcement regarding league status in the near future.
Raco and de Guzman had previously expressed an interest in using League1 Ontario as a stepping stone to reach up the professional level in the Canadian Premier League while with 1812 FC, so one could assume those aspirations still exist with their new venture. With Larin now a co-owner, they’ve certainly got some significant backing.
With Peterborough-based side Electric City FC unveiling similar ambitions last week, the future of Canadian soccer is looking ever-better from the bottom to the top, with Larin evidently keen to be part of that pathway.
The Besiktas forward has scored a record-setting ten goals for the national team this year, bringing his total international tally to 18. He has some 32 goals in 72 league appearances for Besiktas in the Turkish Super Lig.