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Familiar face taking over as head coach of Rovers men's team

Zak Mahrady, who was lead assistant coach, taking over head coach duties from Jason Beckford
Zak Mahrady has been named the new head coach of the Simcoe County Rovers men's team.

The defending League1 Ontario champions will start the 2024 season with a new head coach, but one that will be plenty familiar to soccer fans in Barrie and Simcoe County.

The Simcoe County Rovers announced Friday that Zak “Zico” Mahrady, who was the lead assistant coach of the club in 2023, will replace Jason Beckford as head coach of the Simcoe County Rovers 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,” said president Julian De Guzman.

Mahrady’s playing career saw him win the national men’s college title with Seneca College in 2009. He played at Ryerson in 2011 before heading overseas to play in France, Qatar, and Sweden, where his team, Assyriska IK, were Sweden’s Division 2 league champions in 2018. As a coach, Zico has obtained his UEFA B licence and is working towards his UEFA A licence. He has studied game model and methodology at prestigious clubs like Feyenoord Rotterdam and Glasgow Rangers FC. Prior to joining the Rovers, Mahrady was at Dutch Connection working as the boys high performance coach and U21 League 1 reserves coach for ProStars.

“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 endeavour and excited to start a new chapter as head coach,” says Mahrady. “I want to thank Julian and the rest of the ownership group for the continued trust and shared vision for the Simcoe County Rovers.”

The Rovers are conducting trials for its men’s program on Nov. 5 at Stewart Burnett Park in Newmarket from 9 to 11 a.m. and the women’s team trials will take place on Dec. 22, 27 and 28 at the Aurora Dome.

For more information on the Simcoe County Rovers FC, including men’s and women’s trial dates and times, ticket purchase options and sponsorship opportunities, please visit