‘When I retire’: With little time to rest, York9 FC’s Brennan knows this is special

TORONTO — Jimmy Brennan knows he’s in the midst of something extraordinary.

At some point, he’ll contemplate it.

But not now.

“When I retire, I will take the time and reflect on how special this time is,” York9 FC’s head coach told

As Brennan and his staff piece together an inaugural Canadian Premier League squad, the former Canadian international says he’s too busy to fully grasp the historical significance of launching a club and league.

“You’re so ingrained in it. This is your livelihood; It’s what you do. When you love your job, you’re just focused on doing the best you can do.

“There’s really no time to step back and look. It’s just about keeping your head down and working to get things in place.”

In other words, York9 headquarters is a busy place.

As the club identifies talent ahead of its inaugural season, Brennan says York9 is utilizing “every contact” it has across North America, Central America, South America and Europe as rosters begin to take shape.

“There is a ton of work that the job entails behind the scenes that people don’t get to see,” Brennan added.

It’s about more than clicking “Approach to Sign” (anyone else play Football Manager?).

“My days now are a lot of phone calls, getting contracts in, watching a ton of video, sitting down with staff talking about pre-season,” Brennan said, referencing a front office setup that includes assistant coach Carmine Isacco.

York9 FC head coach Jimmy Brennan.
York9 FC head coach Jimmy Brennan.

“We are always talking about players or video we’ve seen,” Brennan continued. “When we get home we’re still communicating because we, as a group, want to make sure we’re doing all we can to put a good product on the field.”

With two players — Kyle Porter and Simon Adjei — already on the books, Brennan hopes to have “nearly” the rest of the roster in place before March, giving York9 a seven-week window for training camp.

“We still have a ways to go with the player selections,” Brennan said. “We definitely will be looking to do some overseas scouting over the next couple of months.

“There will probably be two trips — England and Central America.”

The club unveiled Porter, 28, on Nov. 29, making him one of the CPL’s first 10 signings. He arrives with MLS and Canadian national team experience.

York9 followed up by inking Swedish forward Simon Adjei days later, making the 25-year-old target man the first international signing in league history. Adjei is coming off a 30-goal season in the Swedish Division 2.