Former Canadian international Jim Brennan has been named head coach of Canadian Premier League side York 9 FC, the team announced on Friday.
Brennan, a former defender in the Premier League and with Toronto FC, is one of the founders of the club, which was officially unveiled in May.
“I’m beyond excited to guide York 9 FC in this new sporting adventure,” said Brennan in a press release. “Soccer has provided me with so many blessings both abroad and at home and I’m honoured to be given the responsibility of building the beautiful game in York Region, by playing the right way, with the ball on the ground. I look forward to giving supporters a driven, passionate club that proudly represent all nine of our distinct cities and towns.”
“Jimmy is one of our founders, a visionary and the obvious choice to be our head coach,“ said Preben Ganzhorn, the president of York Sports & Entertainment. “His experience in soccer from his playing days and beyond makes him a huge asset for our club, and his character as a leader is equally invaluable. Jimmy’s vision and strategic approach will guide our club with the same commitment, passion and resilience he has demonstrated throughout his playing and coaching career.”
Born in East York, Brennan and the club want to have as many York-based players within the squad as possible, as more than 1.1 million people live in the region.
“We want to get as many local players as we can,” he said during the club’s unveiling. “But we’re realistic. We’ll have to get players from the GTA and across Canada. We might have to venture elsewhere.”
As a player, Brennan represented the Canadian men’s national team 49 times. He was a member of Canada’s Gold Cup-winning squad in 2000 and was inducted into the Canada Soccer Hall of Fame in 2015.
Brennan also served as executive vice president and director of soccer operations at League1 Ontario’s Aurora FC from March 2015 to Dec. 2017.