Ottawa Fury: A Model Franchise

How the Fury are a great example of Canada's soccer future
by Henrik Lonne   |   Thursday, October 24, 2013

Made in Canada - coverage of the Canadian MLS, NASL & USL Clubs, CSL, PCSL, Canadian Championship & Canada National Teams

Recently, the Ottawa Fury announced that former Canadian national teamer Martin Nash will join the team as the assistant coach for their inaugural North American Soccer League in 2014. He joins Marc Dos Santos, the head coach, and David Bellemare, the goalkeeping coach.

Having an All-Canadian coaching staff is a far cry from the international staffs at the Canadian MLS clubs. But it is also clear that they are not only chosen because of their nationality.

Dos Santos has coached and won titles in the Canadian Soccer League and the old USL. He was part of the staff that won the Voyageurs Cup and led the Montreal Impact to the quarterfinals of the CONCACAF Champions League. Additionally, he has recently gained experience coaching youth players in Brazil.

In Nash, the Fury have found a man who is an educated coach, as he holds the National B License and is currently completing his National A License. Along with those qualities, he has a career’s worth of experience in second division soccer in North America, and while that may not sound like much, it is the reality that the Fury will play in and as such that experience will be valuable.

Last, but certainly not least, this is a man who played 38 times for Canada. Having gone through the ups and downs of that program, he more than understands the challenges that face Canadian soccer and should be a valuable person to lead the development of new Canadian players.

As covered previously by this site, the Fury organization will take part in the new Ontario Player Development League and appears to continue with its W-League team. If done right and well, the work of the Ottawa Fury will benefit all parts of Canadian soccer. Youngsters will improve in their youth set-up, women are given a chance to develop on their W-League team and perhaps move on to the NWSL or Europe, and the men that aren’t ready for MLS or Europe can use the Fury NASL team to gain first team experience. All of this while using Canadian coaches, thus also developing those that are developing the players.

The Ottawa Fury has gone through a great development since its founding in 2005 and if the team lives up to its potential, a furious effect on Canadian soccer should be clear to see over the following eight years.

Henrik LONNE

Copenhagen Business School
Club Domestic:
AGF Aarhus
Club Foreign:
Toronto FC
Born and raised in Denmark, the US performance in the 2002 World Cup dragged Henrik into the world of North American soccer. Subsequent trips to Canada made him a Toronto FC fan from abroad. The passion he now has for MLS outshines most European leagues.