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'Brimming with optimism': Rovers FC ready to kick off new season

Local soccer club's first regular-season games taking place April 22 at Georgian College's JC Massie Field
The Simcoe County Rovers are shown in this file photo.

League1 announced the 2023 regular-season schedule and the Simcoe County Rovers FC are excited to compete for the title of League1 Ontario champion.

With a busy off-season recently concluded, the Simcoe County Rovers FC enter the new season brimming with optimism and looking to build on the club’s success during their inaugural season.

“Our front office team has put forth a remarkable effort this off-season,” says club CEO and co-founder Peter Raco. “We’ve added a number of amazing new corporate partners to our roster of and we’re excited about our partnership with Canadian Brewhouse, which becomes the official clubhouse of Rovers FC and should provide a great atmosphere for our fans to gather before and after the game. In addition, we’ve spent considerable time improving the overall fan experience at our home match days at Georgian College in 2023.”

“The men’s team has been actively training four times a week since January and have brought back the core of the team that made it to the semifinals last year including Shawn-Claude Lawson, Justin Yarde and captain Justin Earle,” says club president and co-founder Julian de Guzman. “We’ve also strengthened the group by signing talented players like Alejandro Portal and Orlendis Benitez, former Cuban national team players and young local players like Feargod Ozomba, Justin Avonyo and Luc Ihama, who will help our club immensely and further our connection with the local football community. I’m excited for the season to begin and for our club to reach new heights in 2023.”

The women have big plans for the upcoming season as well. Will Devellis, COO and women’s sporting director of the Simcoe County Rovers, is excited by what he has seen so far this pre-season.

“I believe this team can achieve great things this season. We have quality NCAA players like Courtney Chocol, who plays at Quinnipiac University, and recently graduated Samantha Murphy, who played for the Memphis Tigers. Combined with the local talent we have developed here in Barrie with players like Cloey Uddenberg, we are going to be a tough team to play against. The group has great talent, but more importantly great character and we want to inspire young girls playing in Barrie and Simcoe County by being great role models.”

With these amazing additions, the second-year club hopes to start its season on a winning note and build momentum from the start. The 2023 League1 Ontario season kicks off April 16 with the Rovers playing away in Waterloo.

On April 22, the Rovers women’s squad will play Guelph United at 2:30 p.m., followed by the men’s team, who play Master FA Saints at 6:30 p.m. It should be an exciting, fun-filled day at JC Massie Field at Georgian College. Rogers TV will broadcast both the women’s and men’s games and KOOL FM will be on site adding to the excitement. Local artists and community groups will provide additional pre-match entertainment as Rovers FC welcomes all members of the Barrie Soccer Club for the opening kick-off. A limited number of home-opening single game tickets are now available on

“Fans can expect an exciting brand of soccer from our teams and with events like a Latin-inspired night on May 28, and a Sunday market June 3, we hope to attract new audiences to watch our men’s and women’s teams play,” says David Zbar, chief marketing officer. "Rogers TV will broadcast games on April 22, June 3 and June 9 against defending champions Vaughan Azzurri and we are excited to launch Rovers FC TV, a bi-weekly show airing on Rogers TV Barrie and Simcoe County starting April 7 at 7 p.m."

For more information on the Simcoe County Rovers FC, including schedule details, ticket purchase options and sponsorship opportunities, please visit