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Pro-amateur soccer to kick off in Sudbury this spring

The Sudbury Wolves Sports and Entertainment (SWSE) announced they have acquired a license to operate an elite men’s soccer team in Sudbury, Ont. 

Starting April 2024, the Sudbury Cyclones will hit the field at the James Jerome Sports Complex to represent the city within the League1 Ontario (L1O) pyramid, a semi-professional men’s soccer league in Ontario, sanctioned by the Canadian Soccer Association and the Ontario Soccer Association. 

The Sudbury Cyclones will join the SWSE family alongside the organization’s current sports clubs, Sudbury Wolves, Sudbury Five, and Sudbury Spartans. 

“We’re positioned perfectly to bring it to Sudbury and give it the enthusiasm and the excitement the people are going to be looking for,” Dario Zulich, the CEO of the Sudbury Wolves, told CBC. 

“In the summertime people are looking for things to do on a weekend night or nice summer evening. This will be another form of which we can start to entertain the city of Sudbury.”

We want everybody here to dream about, ‘one day I can have that Cyclones jersey on’- Dayna Corelli, General Manager of the Sudbury Cyclones

He added like other sports, bringing an elite level of soccer to the city will provide opportunities to athletes from a young age. 

“Soccer gives us the opportunity to deliver programs from a young age all the way up to when people are adults, and in doing so we can give them a sense of purpose and belonging and competition just through another sport.”

SWSE also introduced Dayna Corelli as Sudbury Cyclones general manager and Connor Vande Weghe as the Sporting Director.

“It really is to provide another opportunity for Sudburians to gather to integrate and to celebrate what really makes us all connect and for a lot of people that’s this beautiful game,” Corelli said. 

Corelli,  who played soccer for Team Ontario in 2005 and 2006, representing Sudbury and bringing home a National Gold Medal from the Rocky Mountain Cup, says this is just the beginning and hopes to also bring an elite women’s team to the organization in the future.

a green field with Sudbury written on itStarting April 2024, the Sudbury Cyclones will hit the field at the James Jerome Sports Complex to represent the city within the League1 Ontario (L1O) pyramid. (Yvon Theriault/Radio-Canada)

“We have worked with hundreds of soccer players and we want there to be some sort of light at the end of the tunnel for them as well. We want everybody here to dream about, ‘one day I can have that Cyclones jersey on’,” Corelli said.

“If you’re a local player playing in Sudbury, it’s a really exciting time right now. You will have the opportunity to try out and find your way into that first team,” Sporting Director, Connor Vande Weghe said. 

In a press conference held on Wednesday, Vande Weghe announced the soccer club will integrate the first team’s coaching staff along with the academy, which will make sure that players of all ages have the ability to progress up throughout the club.

“There is no Academy if there isn’t a first team on top of it, something for all the players to strive for,” he said. 

He invites players in Sudbury, who want to be professional athletes and represent the Cyclones, to try out for the Academy and hopes to see those players progressing into “a true professional athlete that comes out of Sudbury”.

Morning North7:15Semi-professional soccer is coming to Sudbury

The Sudbury Wolves Sports and Entertainment group has announced an elite men’s soccer team will hit the field at the James Jerome Complex. The team will be known as the Sudbury Cyclones. We heard from team general manager Dayna Corelli. We also heard from the CEO of the Sudbury Wolves Sports and Entertainment group, Dario Zulich.

“We really do want to put on the most entertaining soccer experience for all of our guests,” he added. 

He says the team will look at possibly bringing in international players, as well as scouting local athletes to be a part of their first team. 

If the Sudbury Cyclones rings a bell, it’s because a soccer club named the Sudbury Cyclones was in the city from 1976 to 1980. The club competed as part of the National Soccer League during that time. 

“With the rise in watching the women’s World Cup team, the men’s World Cup team going to be hosting the next World Cup in Canada, US and Mexico, it’s more than just a wave that we’re riding, for us it’s really our way of life and we’re just happy to bring everyone on board,” Corelli said. 

Further announcements about the Sudbury Cyclones are expected in September.

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