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Rovers undergoing 'intense' training ahead of Toronto FC game

Local soccer team will practise both days this weekend and go over final match details prior to April 24 game at BMO Field
Atiba Hutchinson

The Simcoe County Rovers have been busy preparing for the Canadian Championship versus TFC at BMO Field and the new League1 season, which sees the team travel to Vaughan on April 28 to begin defense of their title.

Training is intense and the team has scheduled a number of friendlies against CPL and League1 teams to get game ready.

The past two weeks have seen the Rovers face League1 Quebec champions St. Laurent, York United from the CPL and the Oakville Blue Devils and Guelph United FC of League 1 Ontario.

The returning core led by Orlendis Benetiz, Jevontae Layne and Shawn Claud Lawson welcome new additions like midfielder Alexander Ziss who arrives from Scrosoppi FC  and goaltender Rimi Olatunji from CPL’s Forge.

Depth and youth has been added in multiple positions creating a competitive environment for the players as coach Zico Mahrady finalizes his opening day roster and starting 11 for the TFC match.

The Rovers will practise both days this weekend and go over final match details prior to taking the field at BMO in Toronto next Wednesday, April 24 at 7.30 p.m.

Co-owner and former professional player, Atiba Hutchinson has played in many big games all over the world including the 2022 World Cup where he captained the Canadian national team. Canada’s most capped player is excited for what’s next for the club.

When asked what advice he had for the players as they step onto the biggest stage of their career versus TFC on April 24, Hutchinson has this to say: “I want the boys to enjoy this moment and play with a smile on their face. They've proven over the last two years that they deserve to be on this stage. At the end of the day, this is football and anything can happen on that field. Enjoy the moment and play your football.”

Hutchinson has played a major role in the growth of Canadian soccer. As the recipient of Canada Soccer’s President’s Award in 2023 and a six-time Canada Soccer Player of the Year (2010, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017) he understands the need to develop and showcase Canadian talent on an ongoing basis. “The Canadian Championship is extremely important for a club like the Simcoe County Rovers and the players, said Hutchinson.

For the players, these opportunities are what every young footballer needs to help them develop into a top professional. Across the globe these competitions are normal, with small clubs taking on the giants. The Canadian Championship is providing this opportunity in Canada and the entire Rovers organization will be better because of it. We need to continue supporting and growing the Canadian Championship.

The Simcoe County Rovers begin defense of their League1 Ontario title April 28 away at Vaughan. The Simcoe County Rovers women play their first game against Vaughan in what should make for an exciting doubleheader.

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

For an exclusive offer for Simcoe County Rovers vs. Toronto FC tickets, please visit here.

Single and group tickets to the match can be purchased by visiting the website.