YEAR IN REVIEW: Jimmy Brennan, York9 FC look to unite municipalities across York Region

TORONTO — York9 FC, the first club welcomed into the Canadian Premier League, has proudly worn “York Region” on its chest from the very beginning.

From the club’s designation to its first player signing, York9 has been true to its word: creating a club and identity fans north of Toronto’s Hwy. 401 can be proud of.

May 2018

Owner Carlo Baldassarra, vice president Preben Ganzhorn and executive Jimmy Brennan introduced the club in front of hundreds of supporters at Vaughan City Hall.

The club also became the only professional team in York Region.

The name, York9 FC, and crest were also unveiled at the announcement — both of which feature nods to the nine municipalities that make up the region.

July 2018

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset
York9 FC head coach Jimmy Brennan. (Handout)

York9 FC didn’t look far to find its first head coach. Jimmy Brennan, who was already with the club as an executive and director of soccer, assumed the role on July 27.

The former Toronto FC and Canadian national team fullback previously managed League1 Ontario’s Aurora FC after coaching at nearly every level with Toronto FC.

October 2018

The #GotGame Open Trials came to the region on Oct. 11, giving players across the GTA a chance to impress CPL bosses.

November 2018

Porter reveal
Kyle Porter (CPL)

On Nov. 29, York9 FC officially signed its first player, penning versatile winger Kyle Porter to a contract and bringing the 28-year-old back to the province where his soccer career began. The versatile winger comes to the club with MLS and Canadian national team experience.

“I want to be excited about playing the game and being here does that for me,” he told after the announcement.

Brennan and York9 went local to start their three-round CPL-U SPORTS Draft in November. The club selected York University’s Daniel Gogerty fourth overall. The towering fifth-year defender was considered the most CPL-ready of the available players. The club also selected first-year York midfielder Emmanuel Zambazis (11th overall) and Cape Breton’s fourth-year English fullback Daniel Pritchard (18th overall).

December 2018

Simon Adjei feature
Simon Adjei. (CPL)

York9 made even more history in December with the signing of Simon Adjei. The Swedish-Ghanaian forward became the first international player signed by a CPL club. The 25-year-old target man comes to the club following an impressive 30-goal season in Sweden’s Second Division.

The club added young forward Austin Ricci on Dec. 14. A product of assistant coach Carmine Issaco’s Vaughan Azzurri, the 22-year-old Richmond Hill, Ont. native netted a respectable six goals in 12 matches after joining the L1O side in July.

In a move before the holiday break, York9 FC unveiled “explosive” fullback Steven Furlano as its newest addition.