The Blue Devils FC EXCEL program is designed to provide accelerated development for the most committed soccer players.
The EXCEL program is a comprehensive and intensive soccer development program that includes a minimum of four to five days of training each week, strength and conditioning, cross-border exhibition matches, and overseas international competition.
EXCEL Technical Team
Led by Blue Devils Technical Director Brett Mosen, the EXCEL technical team features coaches John Yacou, the Blue Devils Youth Academy Director, Khody Ellis, who oversees the players’ strength and conditioning requirements, and Academy goalkeeper coach Lucas Birnstingl. The EXCEL program is also supported by additional Blue Devils FC senior-level staff.
Technical Director

Brett Mosen

Brett Mosen has over 35 years of coaching experience ranging from Grassroots to the Professional level. Brett has been with the Blue Devils since 2014 and is currently the Club’s Technical Director.

Brett started his professional coaching career in 1995 when appointed Head Coach for the Nashville Metros in the United Soccer League’s A League. Other Head Coaching appointments within the USL included the Atlanta Silverbacks, Lincoln Brigade, Southwest Florida Manatees, Hamilton FC, K-W United and Hampton Roads Mariners (Assistant Coach). Brett also has extensive experience coaching women’s programs including Head Coach appointments for the Toronto Lady Lynx and K-W United competing in the United Soccer League’s W League. Brett also served six years as Head Coach for the Women’s program at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario.

Before moving to Canada Brett spent 16 years coaching in the United States enjoying positions such as State of Tennessee Director of Coaching, Olympic Development Program Regional Coach, USSF State Coaching Instructor for Tennessee, Nebraska, Virginia, Texas and Georgia.

Brett has also been a Coerver Coaching Licensee since 1994. The Coerver teaching method is recognized as the ‘Worlds #1 Skills Teaching Method’ and supported by FIFA and many leading clubs and associations around the globe.

Brett is passionate about player development and has enjoyed watching many of his players go on to play at the international, professional and collegiate levels. Some have also gone on to coach at a senior level including National and MLS professional teams.

Brett’s coaching credentials include the following:

Canadian National A License
United States Soccer federation National A License
UEFA B Coaching License
National Soccer Coaches Association of America Advanced National Diploma
National Soccer Coaches Association of America Director of Coaching Diploma

Brett’s energy, passion and leadership are one of the cornerstones of the Blue Devils program. Widely respected as one of the best technical minds in the game, Brett is focused on ensuring the Blue Devils is one of the best development programs for young Canadian players in the country.

Youth Academy Director

John Yacou

John Yacou is one of the brightest young coaches in Canada. In a coaching career that has spanned more than a decade, he has coached men and women, boys and girls at every level from grassroots to semi-pro in countries around the world.

His passion for the game and for developing young players has been nurtured through a remarkable resume of coaching positions and experiences. He served as a Technical Staff Coach at North Mississauga where he was a League1 Women’s Cup Gold Medalist in 2016, was named North Mississauga Coach of the Year, and coached multiple championship teams - OYSL Champions 1998 Boys (U14, U16, U18), and OYSL Champions 1997 Girls (U17, U21). He has also won the OPDL Showcase of Champions (2003 boys Gold medallist), coached Ontario Cup champions (U17 boys 2016) and National Champions (U17 girls 2016). He has also served as OPDL Head Coach Boys/Girls at Hamilton United.

From 2016 to 2018, he served as the Assistant Coach to the University of McMaster Women’s team. And since 2019, he has held the position of Ryerson University Women’s Staff Coach.

In his quest to constantly improve and learn, he has enjoyed an internship with the Hajduk Split Pro team in Croatia’s First Division from 2018-2019, attended the Canadian National Team U17 Men’s Camp in 2017, attended the Conmebol In Colombia 2019, and completed Coaching Education with Cork City in the First Division in Ireland in 2018.

His coaching credentials include:

UEFA A License Part 1,2
UEFA B License
USSF License
Canadian National B License
Canadian National C License
Coerver A/B License
Soccer Fitness Diploma
Drugs in Sports Diploma

John’s passion for the game started young. His playing career included playing semi-pro for two years in Canada, training with Boca Juniors(reserves) in Argentina, playing in USL/PDL league, in League1 Ontario, and playing in the Canadian Soccer League.

John joined the Blue Devils at the beginning, first serving as the Head Coach of the League1 Women’s team and also as the Technical Director of the Women’s program.

As the Head Coach of the women’s team, John led the team to a regular season championship in 2019, a silver medal in the League1 playoffs and won League1 Women’s Coach of the Year.

In 2020, John was tabbed to lead the Blue Devils Boys Youth Academy as the Director of the Blue Devils Boys Youth Academy, developing young aspiring players while mentoring Academy coaches and lending his expertise and enthusiasm to the entire Club. John’s love of the game and for developing the next generation of Canadian players has helped to fuel the foundation of Blue Devils FC.

Strength & Conditioning Coach

Khody Ellis

Khody Ellis is the lead Strength and Conditioning Coach for Blue Devils
FC. Khody has had a long association with the Blue Devils having won two League1 Ontario Championships (2015, 2017) and the 2015 Inter-Provincial Championship as a key player with the League1 Blue Devils men’s team. Khody has enjoyed incredible success with the Blue Devils including being named a four-time League1 Ontario All-Star and earning a spot on the League1 Ontario All-Time Best XI, while also helping the team make history as the first-ever League1 Ontario team to compete in the Canadian Championship.

Prior to his playing and coaching career with the Blue Devils, Khody studied kinesiology at Parkland College from 2010-2012 where he also played soccer and was named Midwest Athletic Conference 2010 First Team All-Conference and First Team All-Regional.

He followed up at Sheridan College in 2014-15 where he earned his Fundamentals of Fitness Leadership. During his time at Sheridan, he helped lead the Bruins to the 2014 National Championship while also capturing Male Athlete of the Year honours.

Khody Ellis is a Strength and Conditioning Coach and Fascial Stretch Therapist at Peaks Lifestyle away from the pitch, and brings the lessons he’s learned professionally to the Blue Devils FC club he knows so well. “For me, it’s about helping all the Academy players develop a strong educational foundation in safe and effective movement, and mental performance. I can’t express enough how vital strength training is for the development of young athletes, and I am looking forward to being the person to bring this to the club that I love and have dedicated so many years to.”

Academy Goalkeeper Coach

Lucas Birnstingl

Lucas Birnstingl is an Academy Goalkeeper Coach with the Blue Devils Academy and has also played for the Blue Devils League1 Ontario men’s team. Lucas brings a wealth of experience both as a player and as a coach.

His early playing career as a youth included playing with the National Champion Oakville Blue Stars and with the Toronto FC Academy, while also playing in the Provincial program. He progressed into a senior career that included playing in the Scottish Premier League at Dundee FC, Kilmarnock, and Hamilton Accies. While in Scotland, he also played for Queens Park FC, Clyde, Airdrie and Montrose.

Upon returning to Canada, Lucas had two short stints at other League1 Ontario clubs before assuming the starting goalkeeper duties for the Blue Devils. He also began pouring more of his time and energy into coaching and helping to develop young players. Lucas has served as a Goalkeeper Coach for Ginga Soccer Academy, Flamborough Dundas Soccer Club, Mt Hamilton Youth Soccer Club, East Hamilton, and Toronto Skillz. He is a committed and professional coach for the Blue Devils who loves the game and enjoys watching the young goalkeepers in his charge continue to grow and develop.