Simcoe County Rovers Promote Zico To Head Coach Role
Reigning League1 Ontario men’s champions Simcoe County Rovers have named the new gaffer who will lead them through the 2024 season and their first-ever foray into the Canadian Championship.
The club had parted ways with inaugural head Jason Beckford following their title win and has looked internally for his successor, promoting assistant coach Zak ‘Zico’ Mahrady to head coach for the men’s team.
“We welcome Zico to this new role as he brings his success from last year, excellent coaching abilities and top-shelf communication skills to deliver results for the club and the city of Barrie,” stated Club President Julian De Guzman today.
Mahrady’s playing career saw him win the national men’s college title with Seneca in 2009 before launching a playing career overseas that would see him venture to France, Qatar, and Sweden. he won a Division 2 championshi with Assyriska IK in 2018 and later turned his attention to coaching, having obtained his UEFA B license while working towards his A-level badge.
Prior to joining the Barrie-based club, Mahrady had worked as a high performance coach at Dutch Connection prior to their own foray into League1 Canada circles, and had been a U-21 Reserve League1 Ontario coach for the ProStars FC. Having worked under Jason Beckford, he’s seen exactly what it takes to win the club silverware.
“It’s been a fantastic campaign working with coach Jason Beckford and the rest of the staff. I’m grateful for the opportunity to continue to be part of this endeavor and excited to start a new chapter as head coach,” said Mahrady, who also thanks De Guzman and the rest of the ownership group for their trust and vision for the club.
The Simcoe County Rovers won the league championship in just their second season by besting regular season champions Scrosoppi FC 4-2 earlier this year. The club was pushed forward by several former pros like Shawn Claud-Lawson and Orlendis Benitez-Hernandez, though it will remain to be seen who all will return next season – especially with the club proving it can push players on to professional levels.
Having qualified for both the Canadian Championship and the top flight of League1 Ontario in a new three-tier system, it’s fair to say Zico’s first season in charge will throw plenty at the young coach.