Pacific FC latest team to join new Canadian Premier League

Former Canadian national team player Rob Friend is part of a group bringing the Pacific FC team to the Canadian Premier League. (Chris Young/CP)

VICTORIA — The Canadian Premier League has revealed a new club on Vancouver Island will be part of its inaugural season in the spring of 2019, the league announced Friday.

The Pacific Football Club joins Forge FC (Hamilton), Cavalry FC (Calgary), FC Edmonton, HFX Wanderers FC (Halifax), Valour FC (Winnipeg) and York 9 FC in York Region, Ont. A club in Ottawa is also expected to be unveiled in time for league’s debut.

The CPL is aiming to have a total of 10 teams.

Pacific FC will play out of a revamped Westhills Stadium in Langford, B.C. It is expected to have a seating capacity of 6,500 fans.

The club is being spearheaded by former Canadian men’s national soccer team players Josh Simpson and Rob Friend, as well as Dean Shillington, founder and president of Knightsbridge Capital Group.

"This is an incredibly exciting time for soccer in Canada and more importantly for soccer on Vancouver Island," said Pacific FC president Josh Simpson.

"I left my home in Victoria almost 20 years ago because there were no opportunities for young soccer players in the region. I am thrilled to say that changes today. Pacific FC is creating a winning culture and a pathway for players leading to a national stage. Pacific FC will proudly represent the power, energy, strength and beauty of the Pacific Northwest as we look to inspire a new generation of football heroes."

Canadian Premier League commissioner David Clanachan said he was excited that the league will now feature teams from coast to coast.

"Pacific FC already has an iconic name reflective of the region and we can’t wait to see the club and its supporters sculpt a new and exciting sports landscape for the beautiful game in one of the world’s most beautiful areas."

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