Canada Cup kicks-off Monday July 13 in St-Jean, Quebec
From July 13-19, Cégep Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu’s Alphonse-Desjardins Stadium will host provincial teams from Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and two from the host province in the 2015 under-18 national tackle football championship, the Football Canada Cup.
It marks the return of the Canada Cup to la belle province for the first time as an under-18 event. Quebec last hosted the event in 2007 and 2008 as an under-17 and under-19 tournament. Beginning in 2010, the event amalgamated its previous divisions into a single U-18 tournament to better align with Football Canada’s Long-Term Athlete Development plan.
Over the span of the week, teams play three games showcasing their talents against the best under-18 players in Canada as representatives from cégep, university, and junior football programs look on.
The opening day’s games on Monday July 13th are critical as day one winners can finish no lower than fourth while a day one loss relegates squads to the consolation side of the draw.
Led by returning Head Coach Glen Mills, Ontario heads into this year’s Canada Cup as the defending gold medalists after defeating then host province Saskatchewan in 2014. Ontario returns arguably their top performer from 2014 in running back Jevante Stanley who earned both 2014 gold medal game and 2015 International Bowl player of the game honours. Ontario will cap off the opening day by taking on the host’s second team, Quebec-White at 7:30 p.m. (ET).
After capturing bronze a year ago, host Quebec will look to regain their 2011-2013 gold medal winning form. After spending 2014 as a member of the Junior National Team coaching staff, Quebec returns Brad Collinson who will serve as head coach of the host’s top team Quebec-Blue. Collinson previously served as Quebec head coach in 2012 and 2013.
Opening day schedule
|Game 1 – Manitoba (5) vs. Alberta (4) @ 10:00 a.m. ET|
|Game 2 – New Brunswick (7) vs. Saskatchewan (2) @ 1:00 p.m. ET|
|Game 3 – Nova Scotia (6) vs. Quebec Blue (3) @ 4:00 pm ET|
|Game 4 – Quebec White (8) vs. Ontario (1) @ 7:30 p.m. ET|
“It is always a true honor to work with the cream of the crop of Quebec football. This year is even more special as our province gets to host the top talents in this country. Canadian youth football has been growing at such an impressive pace and it will be very unique to see the most talented under-18 football players in the nation. I’m looking forward to meet and greet our colleagues from the 7 other provinces.”
– Brad Collinson, Quebec-Blue Head Coach
“Organizing the Canada Cup is a major undertaking. The event has toured the country the past seven years and is growing every year. We last hosted the national championship in 2008 and the logistical requirements have changed considerably. We are very happy with the work done in recent months with the help of Football Canada and our partners at the city of Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu. I am confident that this year’s participants will appreciate the environment that we have created to encourage their performance.”
– Jean-Charles Meffe, Football Québec Executive Director
“Preparation is going really well. We’ve still got a few days to prepare for Manitoba and we seem to be getting better all the time. We’re really excited by it and we love the weather. We’ve been here before and when it gets hot and humid our kids are just not used to that because in Alberta it’s not that way – it cools down at night there. The facility is awesome and we’re cool at night so that’s really helping our kids stay focused and get some good rest. We’ve got a tough road to go through based on our finish from last year. We’re anticipating meeting Ontario or Quebec in the second round so either of those teams will be very strong.”
– Bryan Brandford, Alberta Head Coach
“We started preparations in Saskatoon with a couple of days in camp and things have gone well. We’re out here and finally adjusted after getting into Quebec was a bit of a long travel day but overall it’s gone pretty well. Every time we come out here [to the Canada Cup] we want to win the gold medal and battle to do that. We were really close last year but we’re not focusing on last year, we’re focusing on this year. We’re excited with this group of guys and we’re really looking forward to our first game against New Brunswick.”
– Kyle Stroeder, Saskatchewan Head Coach
Stroeder on Saskatchewan’s large number of returning players: “They’ve been through the tournament and understand what a grind it is; all the expectations as well as the surroundings. It’s so regimented and there’s little time to transition between the next activity. I think that’s really beneficial to us.”
Watch webcast live on game day
Watch all the action from the 2015 Football Canada Cup from Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec by visiting www.footballcanada.com on game day.
To view complete rosters from all eight participating teams, please click HERE.
U-18 National Team chosen from the event
For the third consecutive year a roster of 40 players will be chosen from the event to represent Canada at the 2016 International Bowl series. Canada’s Under-18 National Team is undefeated in International Bowl competition against Team USA.
This post is also available in: French