Simcoe County Rovers Aim For League1 Ontario in 2022
Northern Tribune has learned that a new football club named Simcoe County Rovers FC has been officially recognized by the Huronia District Soccer Association, with the side reportedly aiming to field a League1 Ontario team in both its men’s and women’s divisions next year.
The club – helmed by Peter Raco and Julian De Guzman – appears to be a fresh rebrand of the duo’s prospective League1 Ontario expansion side, FC Barrie, with the Simcoe County Rovers retaining the bright blue visual identity previously established by the owners.
While there have been no official announcements regarding the club’s prospective league affiliation, all signs suggest that the Simcoe County Rovers will be aiming to field a League1 Ontario team next year.
The newly-minted club reportedly has an agreement to play from JC Massie Field at Barrie’s Georgian College campus when it begins competitive play in 2022, though reserve sides could even take to the pitch later on this year.
Both Raco and De Guzman had initially taken their first steps into football ownership with League1 Ontario side 1812 FC Barrie, but opted to start a new venture on their own after things didn’t work out with 1812 FC co-founder Andrew Weilgus. With both sides set to play from the same home venue as things stand, a tantalizing rivalry seems in the works.
That being said, club officials have remained quiet on details regarding today’s newly-announced side.
A source close to the matter has informed Northern Tribune that the Raco and De Guzman have retained their partnership with the Barrie Soccer Club, with the Simcoe County Rovers also forming additional youth partnerships with both the Aurora Youth Soccer Club and the Orangeville-based Athletic Institute.
Barrie Soccer’s Will Devellis is listed as a director alongside Peter Raco and Julian de Guzman on the club’s public corporation documents.
The same source disclosed that the club will likely announce a number of investors over the coming months, with more news likely to come from official sources over the summer. For now, however, it’s early days yet for the Simcoe County Rovers.
The only official communication from the rebranded club thus far has been to reveal its logo, which explains the club’s colour scheme, name, and Barrie-centric motto.
With the newly-minted club looking like a likely candidate to join the league next year, it looks like League1 Ontario will see additional growth in the near future as the league sprouts additional roots north of of the GTA – though applications for the next season won’t take place for some time yet.
In the meantime, the 2021 League1 Ontario season is set to kick off on July 29, with the men’s division adding five new expansion teams and the women’s division adding three.