League1 Ontario unveils Women’s Division leadership

League1 Ontario has added two directors for its Premier Women’s Division.

Chelsea Spencer (Director, League1 Ontario Board of Directors) and Julie Maheu (Operations Manager, League1 Ontario) have joined League1’s leadership team and are set to head the league’s 15-team women’s division starting in 2021.

The pair will provide leadership to the league through short-term and long-term strategic planning initiatives, communicate with league stakeholders, and serve as spokespeople for the division.

“As we continue to focus on expanding the footprint of the Women’s Premier Division across Ontario, we are excited to support the work that Julie and Chelsea will be doing to create new opportunities for talented young women to play at the highest level in their home community or region and to create opportunities for the women of League1 Ontario to achieve their footballing ambitions, whether they are on or off the pitch,” said League1 Ontario Director, Dino Rossi.

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Spencer, an Oakville, Ont. native, is a former NCAA Division I midfielder with the University of Louisville and Niagara University. Spencer, who holds a Canada Soccer “C” coaching license and a seat on the technical advisory committee at Ontario Soccer, played semi-professionally in England and was part of Canada’s youth national team level before taking up coaching in southern Ontario a decade ago.

“My community is important to me and League1 is a community,” Spencer said. “Being able to use that community and connections to support the pace we want to move forward within League1 will be important.

“Having been a player and understanding their mindset and what their goals are to the coaching piece, to understanding the community of soccer and specifically in Ontario, and what our community needs.”

Maheu, another former NCAA Division 1 player at Eastern Michigan University, was a standout with the Laurier Golden Hawks, where she was a two-time OUA first-team all-star before graduating in 2015. Maheu, who was recently appointed an assistant coach with Laurier’s women’s team, is a marketing professional and coach.

“Soccer has seriously made me into the person I am today, developmental wise, physically, mentally, socially,” Maheu began, “I felt a void after university with not being as highly invested in the soccer space so starting to coach and be creative has made my heart sing.

“I’m really excited to dive in. I hope as the potential face of League1 to make everybody proud. That’s what I want.”

Three new Southwestern Ontario clubs were added to L1O’s Premier Women’s Division for the upcoming season: Tecumseh SC (Windsor-Essex), Waterloo United, and Guelph Union.