Managing Director and League1 Men's Head Coach

Duncan Wilde

Duncan Wilde has been a major figure in Canadian soccer for more than three decades. Arriving in Canada from his native England in 1988, he immediately made an impact in the soccer world.

In 1989, Wilde launched Premier Soccer Academy, the first academy to be registered in Ontario. As Premier Soccer Academy flourished, enjoying success after success under Wilde’s leadership, his reputation and influence continued to grow in parallel.

By 2003, Wilde was appointed Head Coach of the professional side Hamilton Thunder, leading them to the CPSL Western Conference Championship in his first season at the helm.

In the following year 2004, Wilde was appointed as the Head Coach of the Toronto Lynx competing in USL Pro, the top North American professional soccer league at the time.

In support of the Lynx, the Oakville Blue Devils were also established by Wilde in 2005 and went on to win the CPSL National Championship in their lone season.

Wilde’s love for the sport was cultivated from an early age in the Greater Manchester area from which he hails. After having the opportunity to represent his country playing for England Schoolboys, Wilde continued his youth career in the Manchester United Academy, eventually playing for Manchester United Reserves. His career included playing for Shrewsbury Town, Burnley, Manchester United and Everton.

When his playing days came to an end, it was coaching that proved to be the spark for the next chapter of Wilde’s career. After joining the Lynx in 2004, Wilde enjoyed many successful years with the Lynx organization including establishing and eventually owning, with his good friend and partner Billy Steele, the Toronto Lynx Academy. In all, Wilde’s career with the Lynx included serving as Head Coach of the Toronto Lynx USL Pro side from 2004 to 2007, Head Coach of the Toronto Lynx USL/PDL team, and Academy Director of the Toronto Lynx Academy.

The Lynx youth academy was extremely successful under the guidance of Wilde and Steele, playing in the Super Y League in the United States from 2007 to 2014. In that span they went to seven Super Y League North American Finals, four Super20 North American Finals, while sending hundreds of players on to college scholarships, professional careers and national team success.

In 2015, Wilde and Steele re-established Oakville Blue Devils FC with a men’s team competing in League1 Ontario and immediately won the 2015 League1 Championship in their first year, as well as becoming 2015 Inter-Provincial Champions.

Success has followed success for Wilde, Steele and the Blue Devils with the men’s team winning the 2017 League1 Ontario Championship, making the club the first-ever League1 club in history to earn a berth in the Canadian Championship. The Blue Devils Academy was established in 2017, with the Blue Devils League1 women’s team making its debut the following year. The men’s, women’s and reserve teams all won the regular season championship in 2019, and the Academy has grown into one of the best in Canada. For his part, Wilde was named League1 Ontario Coach of the Year in 2017 and 2019 while still serving as the Head Coach of the Blue Devils Academy.

Managing Director and League1 Reserves Men's Head Coach

Billy Steele

William McCallum 'Billy' Steele was born in Kirkmuirhill, Lanark on the 16th of June 1955. He was a tidy, dapper midfielder who played for Norwich City at a young age and was capped for Scotland Youth several times, but had his footballing career cruelly taken from him through injury just as he was getting established in the side.

Having moved down to the Nuneaton area during his school years, the Canaries spotted him in junior football and signed him as an apprentice in 1971 aged just sixteen. Two years later he signed professional forms. His first team début was a baptism of fire - the 1973 East Anglian Derby against Ipswich Town at Carrow Road. It was in the earliest days of John Bond's reign as City manager, and keen to shake things up, he threw young Billy into the mix after good performances for the Reserves team. It almost worked - the small framed Scotsman hit the bar in the first half, giving Ted MacDougall the chance to hit home the rebound for a one
goal lead. Unfortunately Ipswich Town hit back after the break to win 2-1.

Billy played again three days later in the 1-1 Manchester City, but it was a difficult period at Carrow Road for a young professional to make his mark. His early professional career was marked by ups and downs. Eventually City fans started to see more and more signs of Steele's talents. The midfielder never had a hair out of place when he lined up at the start of a match, but always put in an industrious shift, and slowly his efforts were more appreciated.

The 1976-77 campaign was his real breakthrough season. Billy took his place alongside the exalted Martin Peters and the marvelous Colin Suggett, and increasingly played his part with neat touches and awareness. He missed a few games with niggling injuries but still managed 36 appearances in all competitions, scoring in the away defeats at Birmingham City and then at Everton. But in the very next game at Villa Park, tragedy struck. Billy Steele twisted his knee in a fall.

The incident ended his career as a professional player. The coming months saw four unsuccessful operations plus other numerous attempts at surgery to fix his injury. In the end he devastatingly had to call time on his career, aged just 24, with Norwich hosting a testimonial game with Norwich city playing England with guest players Bobby Moore, Jimmy Greaves and a no show George Best.

Following his playing career, Billy eventually moved to Canada in 2001, and in 2004 returned to the game as Assistant Coach with the Toronto Lynx Soccer Club. His son Aaron was a schoolboy player at Norwich in 2001, but also emigrated to Canada.

Alongside his good friend and coaching partner Duncan Wilde, Billy helped to steer the Lynx to many years of success in USL Pro, USL/PDL and helping to establish the Toronto Lynx Academy.

In 2015, Billy and Duncan re-established the Blue Devils as a League1 Ontario men’s team, enjoying incredible success including the 2015 League1 Championship in their first year, as well as becoming 2015 Inter-Provincial Champions.

Success has followed success for Billy, Duncan and the Blue Devils with the men’s team winning the 2017 League1 Ontario Championship, making the club the first-ever League1 club in history to earn a berth in the Canadian Championship. The Blue Devils Academy was established in 2017, with the Blue Devils League1 women’s team making its debut the following year. The men’s, women’s and reserve teams all won the regular season championship in 2019, and the Academy has grown into one of the best in Canada.

Each year, Billy still travels with Academy teams and returns to his beloved Norwich to play matches and experience a proper football Sunday at Carrow Road.

"When the Sun Comes Out in Norwich"
Sung by Billy Steele
Words and Music by Peter Monk © 2012

President

Steven Caldwell

For the modern footballer, there is no one “clear cut path” to professionalism. Blue Devils FC President Steven Caldwell can attest to that. The Stirling, Scotland born defender rose up through the ranks at Newcastle United, and got his professional debut under Bobby Robson, playing alongside legends like Alan Shearer, Shay Given, and Gary Speed.

In his time at St. James’ Park he was part of a club playing Champions League matches against the likes of Inter Milan and Barcelona. But it wasn’t all matches at the San Siro and Camp Nou. He had several loan spells to lower league sides before becoming an automatic on the team sheet. Even then, that didn’t come until he moved on to Newcastle’s arch-rivals Sunderland. Caldwell’s career trajectory was never straight to the top, and they rarely ever are. Steven can speak to the agony of relegation, and the absolute thrill of captaining his Burnley side to Premier League promotion in front of 90,000 fans at Wembley. Along the way, Caldwell managed to find time for 12 Scotland International Caps in two World Cup Qualification rounds before ending his career captaining Toronto FC.

Now that he has hung up his boots, and he’s allowed to plot out his own future, he wants to use his experience to help a next-generation cut their own path. He has been named to the Canadian Men’s National Team as an Assistant Coach and joined Blue Devils FC in the early stages to help build the organization. There was no secret to his success. Determination and work ethic is what got him as far as he did.

“We want to improve the entire program not just tactically and technically, but psychologically as well - teaching these young players across Ontario what it really means to be a professional football player. How much intensity it takes in training, and how much focus and dedication is needed.”

Part of Steven’s decision to come on board with Blue Devils FC was because of the ambitious group that he will be working with. “I am joining an already successful team of qualified and experienced individuals in Duncan, Billy and Shen and I will look to lend my support in all areas of the soccer club.”

Blue Devils FC Head Coach Duncan Wilde is a product of first the City and then United Academies in his native Manchester. His counterpart on the touchline is another Scotsman – Billy Steele, who plied his trade with Norwich City in the ’70s. Caldwell believes it is the sum of that whole which will work together in the clubs efforts to provide young athletes in Southern Ontario with the greatest possible opportunities.

“Through our vast list of contacts both in North America and Europe and some unique ideas in grassroots soccer, we hope to take an already outstanding program even higher and become a leader in soccer throughout Canada.”

While Steven’s connections from his playing days will be an asset to the team, possibly his greatest contributions will happen in the boardroom. Upon his retirement from playing the game, Steven moved into the role of Director of Corporate Development with Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment. “My experience at Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment allowed me into all sides of the game, not just the playing side and the technical side of it. Obviously, a lot of my work was with partnerships, ticket sales, community, everything that goes into Toronto FC, and the successes that they’ve had.”

All of these experiences will prove valuable as Blue Devils FC continues to build the organization in Ontario and beyond. “I’m very excited about what’s to come. We have a long road ahead of us, and a lot of difficult jobs, but we feel we are creating something very, very unique in Canada.”

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.

SPORTing Director

RON DAVIDSON

Ron Davidson joined Blue Devils FC in 2020 as the new club’s new Sporting Director. Ron brings over 20 years of extensive coaching and management experience from developing youth players to coaching at the senior professional and amateur levels.

With more than 20 years of coaching, developing and implementing programs at the academy level, Ron brings a wealth of knowledge and broad skillset to the Blue Devils organization. During Ron’s extensive coaching career, he was named 2008 OSL Regional Coach of the Year, 2009 Provincial Coach of the Year and 2010 Canadian Soccer League (CSL) Coach of the Year. He was also the Head Coach for the professional side Hamilton Croatia in the Canadian Professional Soccer League.

Ron also held the position of Technical Director at a youth club overseeing 3,200 players and coaching development within the club.

In 2011, Ron was hired by TFC Academy (MLS) as a regional scout / academy player development as part of their new scouting initiative.

From 2010 to 2020, Ron owned and operated Givova Soccer Academy / GPS Academy Canada. During this period, Givova / GPS had great success with player development - producing many players who went to Europe and the UK on professional trials, resulting in many players signing professional contracts with clubs in Europe, English Premier League, and representing their respective National teams.

In addition, Ron has coached and been instrumental in helping many players obtain NCAA D1, D2 and NAIA athletic scholarships.

Ron also served as the Head Coach of the GPS / FC Bayern National Program team that attended the prestigious Super Cup Northern Ireland 2017. Ron led the team to the Final, becoming the first North American club team to reach the final in the history of the tournament. defeating the tournament favourites Glasgow Rangers 2-0 in the semi final.

Professional teams Ron has coached against include FC Barcelona, FC Bayern Munich, Liverpool (Development), Leicester City, West Bromwich Albion, Stoke City, Crystal Palace, Nottingham Forest, Charlton Athletic, Middlesborough FC, Glasgow Rangers, Sheffield Utd, Brentord FC, Kitchee Hong Kong, Elfsborg Sweden, and Beitar Jerusalem FC.

Part of Ron’s role within the Global Premier Soccer programming was Director of the FC Bayern Munich programming in Canada. He implemented the FC Bayern ID and FC Bayern National Team programs. Through this program, GPS Academy had several players attend technical training with FC Bayern Munich in Germany.

Ron has attended many international tournaments throughout his career, taking teams to MIC Cup Spain, Gothia Cup Sweden, Super Cup Northern Ireland, Foyle Cup Northern Ireland, and the English Premier Pro Academy Game Series, among others. Ron brought this experience and knowledge to the Blue Devils organization, providing all the players in the Academy the opportunity to benefit from his extensive resume.

When GPS joined with the Blue Devils, Ron outlined, “I am excited to merge GPS Academy and be part of such a progressive, vibrant and forward-thinking organization in Blue Devils. I look forward to developing new programs at the younger age levels, given the integral importance it represents as part of the foundation and future for the Blue Devils organization. Under my professional leadership and affiliations with many professional clubs around the world and university level, I look forward to playing my part In advancing the Blue Devils organization and the vision for player development we all share.”

Head Goalkeeper Coach

Glenn McNamara

Blue Devils FC Head Goalkeeper Coach Glenn McNamara’s playing and coaching career has spanned more than four decades and two continents.

In the early 1980s, Glenn played with York University where he was named first team CIAU All Canadian. Following his graduation in the late eighties, Glenn was signed with Clube Desportivo Nacional da Madeira in Portugal. This team won promotion to Primeira Liga in Portugal to play against the likes of Sporting Lisbon, FC Porto, and Benfica. Nacional is famously known as the club where a young Cristiano Ronaldo began his youth career. Glenn played first team games over the course of three seasons with Nacional. Coached by Paolo Atori, who went on to coach Benfica, Glenn played with famous players such as William who also played center back for Benfica.

Following his pro career in Portugal, Glenn moved back to Canada where he played with the likes of Dynamo Latino (formerly Toronto Blizzard), and the North York Rockets, two professional clubs in Canada of the 1980s.

When his playing career ended, Glenn turned to coaching, helping to shape young goalkeepers. He has has coached with Duncan and Billy for more than 15 years, starting with the Toronto Lynx and then subsequently joining the Blue Devils to help launch the club. Glenn is the Club's Head Goalkeeper Coach and primarily works with the first-team keepers for League1 Ontario men’s and women’s teams, while also lending his expertise to the Academy players and helping to mentor the Blue Devils Academy coaches.

As a former Scholarship Director for the Toronto Lynx, Glenn has helped to place hundreds of youth players into scholarship programs in the USA and Canada. Many of his former goalkeepers today are playing around the world in professional leagues.

To his friends, Glenn is known as Mr. Fish, as he imports seafood products for Aquastar Canada.

Glenn has four children, all of whom played with the Toronto Lynx/ Blue Devils FC, including previous Club Captains Taylor McNamara and his younger brother Konner McNamara, both League1 Champions who led the Blue Devils to the first-ever berth in history for a League1 Ontario team in the Canadian Championship.

International Technical Advisor

Jeff Bookman

Jeff Bookman has over 50 years of playing and coaching experience at the highest levels of the game in the UK. As a schoolboy he played for Arsenal, before joining his beloved Chelsea where he played regularly in the Youth and Reserve teams. While still at school, Jeff also had the honour of captaining the England U18 National Schoolboys Team.

Although not making it as a pro, Jeff played for many years at the highest level of semi-pro soccer with clubs including, Barnet and Ilford FC where he played in the last-ever Amateur Cup Final to be played at Wembley stadium.

When he retired from playing, Jeff quickly rose through the coaching ranks and became a UEFA A license coach, before progressing to an English FA Coach Educator. On achieving this status, Jeff was the first appointed coach of the David Beckham Academy when it opened in London, and was recruited to return to Chelsea FC as Head Coach of the U-13 Academy team. He remained at Chelsea Academy for 10 years, and in the final year became the Head of International Youth Technical Development, where he travelled to the United States to oversee the growth and development of Chelsea’s affiliate partner clubs.

During this time, Jeff also founded the online coaching resource, Inside Soccer, which meant him traveling the world to work with major clubs including Inter Milan, Sporting Lisbon, Ajax, Flamengo, Santos, Boca Juniors, River Plate and Valencia. It also meant him introducing many of these club coaches to grassroots clubs in the USA & Canada – a project which he still continues to this day.

The rapid rise and growth of the game in the United States lured Jeff to leave Chelsea and remain in the USA for eight years, during which time he became the Technical Director of New York Soccer Club, working alongside Claudio Reyna, the former National Technical Director, before co-founding his own player development program, Next Gen USA.

Family ties eventually led Jeff to return to the UK, where he is now semi-retired, but working as a consultant to pass on a lifetime’s knowledge and experience of working alongside some of the world’s most talented youth development coaches.

GIRLS ACADEMY

League1 Women’s Head Coach

Natalie Bukovec

Natalie Bukovec leads the women’s program for Blue Devils FC. She is the Head Coach of the Blue Devils League1 Women’s team and is a driving force behind the Blue Devils Girls Academy.

With the explosion of the women’s game in Canada and around the world, Natalie’s focus and drive is helping to propel the Blue Devils women’s program to new heights by shaping the development and careers of a new generation of young players.

Bukovec was named the Head Coach of the Ryerson University Rams women's soccer program in December of 2018 after having served as interim head coach for the 2018 season. Prior to her stint as interim head coach, she served as an assistant coach at Ryerson for two seasons.

Bukovec played five seasons at McMaster University from 2010-15 and received a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology, specializing in Social Psychology, and a Certificate in Leadership and Organization. She has also recently completed a certificate in Human Resources Management and is now working towards obtaining a Master’s in Coaching and Sport Performance.

After her university career, Bukovec played in semi-professional leagues in North America such as League 1 and W-League and was a member of the Croatian women's national team player pool.

Bukovec's coaching career began in 2015 as an assistant coach at McMaster before joining Ryerson's team in 2016. She hold a Canadian National B License.

In 2018, Bukovec was one of five female coaches selected across Ontario to be a part of the Ontario Female Mentorship Program run by the Canadian Soccer Association.

Outside of her roles with the Blue Devils and Ryerson University, Bukovec also works with the Ontario Provincial Projects with the 2005 girls age group as an assistant.

Natalie’s passion for the game and for developing Canada’s next generation of young female players is an inspiration to everyone at the Blue Devils who has the opportunity to work alongside her and play under her guidance.

Junior Girls Academy Director

Kim Brassor

Kim Brassor is a strong and motivating force in Canadian women’s soccer. As the Director of the Blue Devils Junior Girls Academy and a co-founder of Future Girls Soccer, Brassor has devoted her passion and energy into developing the next generation of female Canadian soccer players.

Soccer has always been a part of Brassor’s life since she was young, starting at the Scarborough United Girls Soccer Club where she played for eight years, and eventually leading to her playing with the Oakville Impax at the World Masters Games. She is an experienced coach and certified personal trainer and has built a remarkable presence in the women’s game.

Her passion to grow the women’s game extends beyond her playing and coaching into every facet of the game. She has served on the Ontario Soccer Association Women’s Committee Executive, eventually serving as the committee’s Chair in 2014-15 and has authored a book aimed at young female soccer players Reaching for the Rings: A Young Girl’s Guide to Growing Her Game.

Her relentless energy and drive helped her to successfully launch Future Girls Soccer in 2015 – a soccer development program for young girls led by an all-female coaching staff – in a market crowded with major competitors and where, at the time, only 2% of its leaders were women

As the Director of the Blue Devils Junior Girls Academy, Brassor’s extensive experience both on and off the pitch as a player, coach and entrepreneur has been a consistent source of inspiration for all of the young female players that have a chance to play for her.

Head Coach, Girls Junior Academy

Michele Houchen

Michele Houchen has been a fixture in the Canadian soccer landscape for many years. During her years from 1986-1991 as a striker for the Canadian Women’s National Team, she was a fearless competitor known for her intensity and athleticism. Houchen's killer instinct and work ethic have earned her several appearances with Canada's national soccer team, MVP status for the Canadian National Team Women’s Tour Team from 1987-89, led her to three national championships, five provincial championships, three most valuable player awards for Ontario and a gold medal at the World Master's Championships.

Houchen secured her place in Oakville sports history when she was inducted into the Oakville Sports Hall of Fame in 2007. Houchen, the first black female to be inducted into the Hall, started playing soccer when she was 15 in her hometown of Scarborough, Ont. She's been living and breathing the game ever since.

While Houchen's honours and awards are impressive and well deserved, what is most fascinating about this woman is her ability to pass on her love for the game and inspire others.
Since her playing career ended, she has put her time, energy, blood, sweat and tears into developing the next generation of young, aspiring female players.

She's one of a handful of female coaches in the province to have earned a Provincial B-Level coaching licence from Ontario Soccer, has won OYSL Coach of the Year, and continues to apply and pass along her knowledge of the game to players and coaches.

"Soccer has been such a strong force for me," she said. "It's always been an important and large part of my life, and it always will be."

Those that have played, coached, or trained with Houchen know the reason why. It's what she calls the fire in her belly. It's that will and determination – the same will and determination she works so hard to pass on to future generations of young girls as the Head Coach of the Blue Devils FC Junior Girls Academy and as a co-founder and Head Coach of Future Girls Soccer.

Academy Coach

Leanne Forker

Born in Scotland, Leanne Forker brings a terrific combination of playing and coaching experience. Her strengths extend beyond the pitch into strength and conditioning as she also works as a strength and conditioning coach/personal trainer.

Leanne began playing soccer at a young age in Scotland. After spending six years as a youth from 1996 to 2002 with Inverkeithing Hillfield Swifts, she progressed to Cowdenbeath Ladies FC who compete in the Scottish First Division. She then played with the Scotland Elite Squad from 2003 to 2006, while competing for Dunfermline Athletic Ladies FC. Also during this time. Leanne played from 2008 to 2010 with Edinburgh Napier University WFC, and from 2016 to 2018 with Edinburgh University Hutchison Vale in the Scottish Women’s Premier League.

After moving to Canada in 2018, Leanne joined Blue Devils FC’s League1 Ontario Women’s team and helped to lead them to the 2019 League1 Regular Season Championship.

Leanne began coaching as a teenager in her native Scotland, and since joining the Blue Devils she has coached in the Girls Youth Academy while also serving as a Strength and Conditioning Coach for the Club. To help enhance her coaching experience, Leanne also works as an Assistant Coach with the Ryerson University Rams Women’s Soccer team.

Leanne’s tremendous playing background, combined with her strength and conditioning knowledge make her a dynamic presence in the Girls Academy.

Qualifications:
• BSc Sport and Exercise Science -2010
• Strength and Conditioning Coach/Personal Trainer - 2013
• HNC Sports Coaching with Development - 2007
• NC Sport Health and Fitness - 2006

Coaching Qualifications:
• C Licence - 2019
• Learn to train - 2018
• Soccer for Life - 2018
• Making headway in soccer - 2018
• Coach Initiation in Sport - 2018
• Coaching athletes with a disability - 2018
• Making ethical decisions - 2018
• Respect in Sport - 2018
• Keeping Girls in Sport - 2020

Academy Coach

Shelby Steward

Shelby Steward is a dynamic young coach who has been playing soccer her entire life. Coming up through clubs such as the Brantford Rockets, Oakville and the Toronto Lady Lynx, Shelby quickly gained recognition as an elite player.

In her U16 year, she was one of two players selected by the Toronto Lady Lynx coaches to attend an Olympic Development Program Training Camp in Florida. Not long after, she received scholarship offers from schools such as Brown University and Hawaii Pacific University. She eventually played for the Brock University Women’s Soccer team where she earned a Bachelor of Physical Education and a Bachelor of Education. This was followed by two years with the Bedwell Rangers Women’s Team in England, an affiliate of Arsenal Ladies.

Since then, Shelby has continued to play the game she loves while earning her coaching licenses and helping to develop young aspiring players. Her passion for teaching has led her to a wide variety of experiences from: coaching at the youth level; to leading a professional development course for over 100 teachers and coaches in El Salvador on how to use sports (with a focus on soccer) to develop life skills; and hosting the Jumpstart Games in St. Catharine’s, using sport and games to promote life skills. She also ran a sports day for Right to Play at Fort York in Toronto and, during her time in England, served as a Junior Girls and Senior Girls’ soccer coach at Marriotts School.

Shelby now brings that love for learning to the Blue Devils as she works with young players in the Blue Devils Junior Girls Academy.

Academy Coach

Alexia Rhooms

Alexia Rhooms is a coach who brings a combination of different experiences to her role in the Blue Devils Junior Girls Academy. She has played soccer for much of her life, beginning at Erin Mills as a youth, and then playing in the OYSL and the NECSP University Showcase Program.

Alexia attended Western University where she earned a Bachelor of Arts (Honors Specialization) in Kinesiology, making the Dean’s Honor List along the way. In addition to playing soccer at an elite level, Alexia has been active throughout her coaching career, working in the Oakville Soccer Camp, Glen Abbey Recreational Basketball Program, and the Future Girls Soccer programs.

Alexia has earned her Speed and Agility Certification from the National Sports Performance Association (NSPA) and combines that in her role as the Head Fitness Coach of the Female Soccer Fitness Company.

Alexia brings an immense passion for the game of soccer and for the athletic foundation needed to play the game at a high level to her role as an Academy Coach in the Blue Devils Junior Girls Academy.

BOYS ACADEMY

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.

Academy Coach

Kyle Porter

Kyle Porter is a Canadian-born professional soccer player who has represented Canada at all levels of play from Youth to the Senior Men’s National team - where he has been capped seven times.

For more than a decade, Kyle has enjoyed a successful professional career in the MLS, USL, NASL, Canadian Premier League and in Germany. He has played for clubs such as York 9 FC, DC United, Vancouver Whitecaps, FC Edmonton, Ottawa Fury, Tampa Bay Rowdies, Atlanta Silverbacks and FC Energie Cottbus.

To give back to a sport that has given him so much, Kyle has been committed to coaching throughout his entire career with youth teams and is now working to help develop the next successful crop of Blue Devils in the Blue Devils Academy.

Academy Coach

Tevin Wynter

Tevin Wynter grew up in Mississauga and played locally until moving to Oakville Blue Stars at OSC. There he played for Phil Iafrati while Brett Mosen was Technical Director. The team won many titles locally, provincially and across the border in the US.

Tevin started his NCAA journey at D2 program Dominican College, then transferred to NCJAA Program Schoolcraft College where he received the Award for Superior Academic Achievement. His last transfer was to D1 program University of Detroit-Mercy where he graduated with a BSBA in Business Administration.

Throughout his soccer journey Tevin has played at the PDL level with Hamilton FC, KW United and the Toronto Lynx. After a brief stint at Sigma, he was a League One Cup Finalist in 2014, he then returned to Oakville Blue Devils FC and won the League1 Ontario Championship and Inter-Provincial Championship in 2015. Since leaving the club he has gained more coaching experience, now he’s excited to be back, “I wanted to join the Blue Devils Academy because of their strong history, and the path in place for players. I have experiences to pass on to players in the academy”

Tevin has enjoyed a great deal of success throughout his coaching career including:

• Toronto Soccer Association league Champions 2018 undefeated
• Ohio PSI Memorial Day Tournament Champions 2019
• Rochester Lakefront Classic Showcase Champions 2019
• Central Soccer League Champions 2019
• Ontario Regional League Championships Champion 2019

The family feeling with Blue Devils FC and the Blue Devils Academy was part of the draw for Tevin returning to his former club. “I’m in a place now where I will be able to impact players and be connected to the coaching staff that started the Blue Devils Legacy”.

Academy Coach

Victor Gallo

Victor Gallo is not only a Blue Devils Academy coach but also the Captain of and a player with the Blue Devils FC League1 Ontario men’s team. Taking the armband after Taylor McNamara retired, Victor, one of the team’s key defenders, led the Blue Devils to the 2019 League1 Ontario Regular Season Championship.

Victor’s soccer career began at a young age. As a youth, he played in the academy of Argentine professional side Sarmiento de Junín. In Canada, he played in the CSL with a brief stint in the Toronto FC Academy. He has also played professionally in Uruguay with Canadian SC and in Peru with Cultural Santa Rosa.

Victor’s deep passion for the beautiful game is fiercely evident when he plays, but he also shines as an Academy Coach in the Blue Devils Academy. Working with young players on their development has become a big part of his continuing story with the game he loves.

Academy Coach

Evan James

Evan James grew up in Mississauga, where he began his youth training at Mississauga SC, he later joined the Oakville Blue Stars under the supervision of Technical Director Brett Mosen.

From there Evan would then go on to earn a full scholarship to the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. During his collegiate career he scored 21 goals in 83 games. He was named to the Atlantic10 Rookie Team (2008), All-Atlantic10 First Team (2011), and the NSCAA All-Mid-Atlantic Region First Team (2011).

Following University, the striker was drafted 1st overall by the Montreal Impact in the 2012 MLS Supplemental Draft. James then featured twice for the Canadian National Team between 2012 and 2013. Ahead of the 2013 Season James rejoined Brett Mosen with KW United in the USL PDL before leaving for Europe.

While overseas Evan played in England, Finland, and Denmark. Upon returning to Canada he had brief stints with two other League1 Ontario clubs before he joined Oakville Blue Devils FC in 2019. He led the club in goals with 8 in the regular season, and 2 more in the playoffs as the men’s team won the 2019 League1 Ontario Regular Season Championship.

Evan’s role as a Coach in the Blue Devils Academy will allow the former Canadian International to guide his charges with an understanding of the pressures placed on them both on and off the pitch, “I’d like to take a holistic approach to these players’ development, focusing on more than just their soccer needs. Traits like leadership, resilience, empathy, and teamwork, are all transferable to their lives away from soccer. Obviously they’ll come away from this as better soccer players, but If everyone left with the confidence to pursue their dreams, and as better humans, I’d be happy”.

Academy Coach

Carlos Recinos

Coach Carlos has been coaching children in Canada for the past 17 years. Originally hailing from Guatemala, Carlos played football as a young boy from the time he was able to walk. He reached the National Program seeding system at CDAG (Sporting Confederation Autonomous of Guatemala) at age 11, playing until age 13 when he was forced to step away for medical reasons, primarily due to multiple ankle injuries. He took part in the National Games from 1982 to 1985, playing with teams two years up.

Carlos has long since turned his passion for the game to coaching and teaching. He spent 11 years at Ancaster Soccer Club, founding the club academy in the process. Over his time, the club academy grew to exceed 400 players per year for the winter programs. Carlos has been successful in developing players of all ages, in particular, during the golden years of development, between the ages of 11 and 12 years of age.

As part of his accomplishments at Ancaster Soccer Club, he was fundamental in the planning, design, and programs at the Field for All Seasons at Redeemer University College. The soccer dome is now known as Redeemer Soccer Dome.

His successes include developing players for many years to higher levels, with several of the players he worked with eventually playing for Team Ontario, and one earning a spot with Team Canada U14 CONCACAF. Other players he developed at the club between the ages of 9 and 12 years old have gone on to win the Ontario Cup as they progressed to youth and senior play.

Following his time at Ancaster, Carlos moved to Hamilton United Elite as a Staff Coach where he spent three years coaching in the Regional Program at U14, U15 and U16, the feeder system for the OPDL teams within the club. Each year during his tenure at Hamilton United, his teams participated in the Ontario Cup.
His assigned U16 Team also participated at the Woodbridge Classic Tournament, winning the Championship by beating a very strong squad from Vaughan OPDL U16 to capture the silverware.

In 2018, Coach Carlos joined the Blue Devils Academy as Head Coach for the U11 and U16 Boys Programs in the Junior and Youth Academy. No stranger to higher levels of play, coaching, and development, many successes were witnessed during the 2018-19 indoor and outdoor seasons. His U16 squad went on to clinch the Gold Medal Championship at the Provincial Indoor Soccer League (PISL), while his assigned U11 squad enjoyed terrific success the entire year.

Soon after, Carlos was assigned to oversee the 9v9 Program at Blue Devils Academy, where he executed a developmental curriculum in line with the Academy‘s philosophy, and in combination with his 17 years of expertise in young player development, along with the application of his learning through the Canada Soccer National Children Licence.

Carlos has commented, "This thing we do, it's not about us, it's about them. A solid developmental foundation goes a long long way in their lives as players and as people.”

His personal motto to his students - "Play with Confidence... Play with Passion!"

Carlos’ coaching credentials include:
• Community Coach 2007
• Youth Coach 2008
• Senior Coach 2009
• National C Licence 2015
• National B Licence Part 1 2016
• Barcelona, Spain - Certificate in Psychology for Sports Coaches in High Performance - 2019
• Certificate in Football Tactical Analyst - In Progress
• Canada Soccer - National Children Licence Class of 2020/2021 - In Progress

Academy Coach

Shiquan Lowe

Shiquan “Shaq” Lowe is an Academy Coach in the Blue Devils Academy, and also plays for the Blue Devils League1 Ontario men’s team.

Shaq recently returned to the Blue Devils after a stint with Vaughan Azzurri. During his playing career in League1 Ontario, Shaq has won the League1 Cup and the League1 Ontario championship. He has also been named a League1 All-Star and competed in the Canadian Championships in 2018.

In addition, Shaq played with Seneca College for two years, earning MVP and All-Star honours in 2015. After Seneca, Shaq moved to NIagara University in NCAA D1 where he captained the squad.

Shaq is a committed and energetic young coach. He is passionate about development and enjoys working with the young Academy players.

Academy Coach

Bojan Samardzija

Born in Serbia, Bojan Samardzija has a long career in soccer that began more than 25 years ago. As a youth player, Bojan played from 1995 to 2001 at Academy Mika Radosav. Following that, he played in 2001-2002 at FK Vojvodina- Novi Sad in the Serbian First Division. He then spent four years from 2002 to 2006 at OFK Slavija Novi Sad, also in the Serbian First Division.

His senior career began at OFK Slavija Novi Sad in Serbian Fourth Division from 2006 to 2008. From 2008 to 2009 he played for Radnicki Sid in the Serbian second division. He then successfully earned a spot in 2009 with Cukariki Stanton Belgrade in the Serbian First Division. After this, Bojan played at OFK Slavija Novi Sad, eventually landing in Canada where he has played for Branford Galaxy SC since 2013.

Also starting in 2013, Bojan began coaching with Hamilton Serbians. In 2017 he joined GPS Academy as a coach. And in 2020, Bojan joined the Blue Devils as an Academy Coach once GPS Academy merged with Blue Devils FC.

Bojan has coached in a variety of age groups and employs his terrific knowledge and experience with the game for the benefit of all Blue Devils Academy players.

Academy Coach

COLIN PRYCE

Colin Pryce has always had a deep love for soccer. He played the game at a high level and, as a coach of young players, is a gifted teacher of the technical and fine points of the game.

Colin grew up playing youth soccer for Mississauga Soccer Club, and then attending Seneca College and St. Mary’s University as a young adult. His senior soccer career included suiting up for a number of clubs including Nacional (LUSO League), Independente (LEFA Spanish League), Toronto Italia (NSL), Brampton City and Sora Lazio (OSL), and Scarborough Azzurri (OSL) where his team won the National Championship in 1987 and finished as runners-up in 1988 and 1991.

Starting in 2000, he served as a Head Coach for the Mississauga Soccer Club Falcons for nearly a decade. During his tenure in Mississauga, he coached the Falcons ‘90 boys’ teams to three Ontario Cup finals appearances, and one Ontario Cup title. The team was always ranked in the top 5 in the province, while a number of players have gone on to scholarships in the US, with a few others playing at the professional level - two notable examples being Blue Devils Academy Coach Kyle Porter (DC United, Vancouver Whitecaps, etc.) and Ashtone Morgan (Toronto FC).

After a brief stint at North Mississauga SC, Colin joined Duncan Wilde and Billy Steele at the Toronto Lynx Academy. He coached the 2013 U16 Toronto Lynx Boys to a Championship in the Needham Tournament in Boston and went to the USL National Championship Semi-Final in Florida where the team lost on penalty kicks.Following his time with the Lynx, Colin joined Oakville SC for several years.

He has returned to work alongside Duncan and Billy, bringing his years of experience and gift for teaching to the Blue Devils Academy.

Academy Coach

Sean Holmes

Sean Holmes has enjoyed a highly successful career in soccer both as a player and a coach.

During his playing days, he played for the USA ODP U19 National-Olympic team. He also enjoyed a decorated college career at Niagara University on an athletic scholarship, and where he was twice named an All-American, and was also a two-time MAAC player of the week.

Following college, Sean played professionally for eight years. His pro career started in the MISL with the Buffalo Blizzards from 1992 to 1993. This was followed by seven years in the CPSL/CSL from 1999 to 2006 where he played for Brampton Hitman, Hamilton Thunder, and Oakville Blue Devils FC.

Sean has been coaching since 2011 when he began with the Madrista Academy for five years. From 2016 to 2020, Sean served as a coach with GPS Academy. When GPS merged with Blue Devils FC, Sean joined as an Academy Coach. As with his playing career, Sean has seen a great deal of success as a coach including earning the #1 ranking in Got Soccer through winning many event-ranked championships

Sean’s years of experience as player and coach provide a strong foundation for his work with the young Canadian soccer players of tomorrow.

Academy Coach

Michael Stanley

Mike Stanley is a committed coach in the Blue Devils Academy who, in his coaching career, has helped more than 20 players earn athletic scholarships to NCAA Division I and Division II schools.

Mike enjoyed a high-level playing career of more than a decade playing with both the Maple Leaf Nationals of the CSL and the North York Rockets of the CPSL.

Before joining the Blue Devils Academy, as a coach - he holds a National B and a Provincial B - Mike worked at Pickering Soccer Club from 2001 to 2006, followed by 10 years at the Ajax Soccer Club. He then joined the GPS Academy Canada before landing at the Blue Devils.

In addition to the players he has helped to earn athletic scholarships, Mike’s coaching resume boasts three Ontario Cup Championships, two National Championships with Ajax SC, Champions Adidas Blue Chip Tournament in 2016, and a Bronze Medal at the National Championship with Wexford SC.

Mike is committed to developing young Canadian players in the Blue Devils Academy, helping them to build a strong foundation for future success in the game he loves.

GOALKEEPERS

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.

Academy Goalkeeper Coach

MELFORD JAMES JR

Energetic, athletic coach with 15+ years of experience training and mentoring goalkeepers and helping
them meet their goals. I grew up playing my youth soccer for the Woodbridge Strikers before accepting
a full scholarship to the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

After a couple of years, I transferred to the University of Montevallo, where I set and still hold several
goalkeeping records, one of them being the only player ever to be drafted to the M.L.S. (Chicago Fire)
from my school.

I also spent time on trial with the Pittsburgh Riverhounds and Miami F.C. of the U.S.L. while finishing off
my career here in Canada with Hamilton Croatia of the C.S.L.

PROFESSIONAL LICENSE
• United States Soccer Federation (USSF) “ D ” License
• O.S.A Goalkeeper Certification

PLAYING EXPERIENCE
• 2010: Hamilton Croatia (C.S.L)
• 2008: Drafted in the 2008 M.L.S. Draft by the Chicago Fire
• Trained with Miami F.C. of the U.S.L. 1 for Pre-season
• 2006 - 2008: University of Montevallo
• 2007: Palm Beach Pumas (P.D.L)
• 2004-2005: The University of Alabama at Birmingham

COACHING EXPERIENCE
• Academy Goalkeeper Coach (Global Premier Academy)
• Academy Goalkeeper Coach (Givova Academy) 2012-2016
• Club Goalkeeper Coach (Brams United Soccer Club) 2010 - 2014
• Volunteer Assistant (Goalkeeper Coach) – Lynn University – (Spring 2009)
• Grad Assistant (Goalkeeper Coach) – University of Montevallo – (Fall 2008)
• Ontario Soccer Provincial Program Goalkeeper Coach 2011

PLAYER PERFORMANCE

Head 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.”

Strength & Conditioning Coach

Mark Heathcote

Mark Heathcote is a key Strength and Conditioning Coach with the Blue Devils Academy and the Blue Devils League1 Ontario team. He has been in the fitness industry for over 30 years (injury free the whole time). He has participated in local and provincial body building competitions (pics available upon request lol). Mark has been trained under the John Cardillo personal training system. Over the course of his career, he has worked with many competitive athletes physically, mentally and with their dietary needs.

Mark joined the Blue Devils Senior Coaching Staff in 2017. He works with the players in the Senior Academy group running sport-specific fitness sessions. He has helped Blue Devils athletes set individual goals with weight loss, strength gain and endurance. Mark is also instrumental with pre-game, in-game and post-game fitness preparation and monitoring.

Mark is an outstanding and important member of the Blue Devils team and utilizes his tremendous knowledge and passion for strength and conditioning to Blue Devils players of all ages.

Strength & Conditioning Coach

Leanne Forker

Born in Scotland, Leanne Forker brings a terrific combination of playing and coaching experience. Her strengths extend beyond the pitch into strength and conditioning as she also works as a strength and conditioning coach/personal trainer.

Leanne began playing soccer at a young age in Scotland. After spending six years as a youth from 1996 to 2002 with Inverkeithing Hillfield Swifts, she progressed to Cowdenbeath Ladies FC who compete in the Scottish First Division. She then played with the Scotland Elite Squad from 2003 to 2006, while competing for Dunfermline Athletic Ladies FC. Also during this time. Leanne played from 2008 to 2010 with Edinburgh Napier University WFC, and from 2016 to 2018 with Edinburgh University Hutchison Vale in the Scottish Women’s Premier League.

After moving to Canada in 2018, Leanne joined Blue Devils FC’s League1 Ontario Women’s team and helped to lead them to the 2019 League1 Regular Season Championship.

Leanne began coaching as a teenager in her native Scotland, and since joining the Blue Devils she has coached in the Girls Youth Academy while also serving as a Strength and Conditioning Coach for the Club. To help enhance her coaching experience, Leanne also works as an Assistant Coach with the Ryerson University Rams Women’s Soccer team.

Leanne’s tremendous playing background, combined with her strength and conditioning knowledge make her a dynamic presence in the Girls Academy.

Qualifications:
• BSc Sport and Exercise Science -2010
• Strength and Conditioning Coach/Personal Trainer - 2013
• HNC Sports Coaching with Development - 2007
• NC Sport Health and Fitness - 2006

Coaching Qualifications:
• C Licence - 2019
• Learn to train - 2018
• Soccer for Life - 2018
• Making headway in soccer - 2018
• Coach Initiation in Sport - 2018
• Coaching athletes with a disability - 2018
• Making ethical decisions - 2018
• Respect in Sport - 2018
• Keeping Girls in Sport - 2020

Blue Devils FC is partnered with The Sports Clinic to provide a complete range of medical and player performance support for the club.
The Sports Clinic is a full-service health and wellness centre with two locations in Oakville and Mississauga. TSC provides a complete range of services including sports medicine, physiotherapy, athletic therapy, osteopathy, sports nutrition, concussion management and more.
TSC is also tied very closely to the University of Toronto, and frequently offers internships to graduating students. This provides TSC with excellent junior therapists and also helps to bridge the gap between the practical and the academic aspects of the profession.