Canada Cup kicks off Saturday in Winnipeg
Eight teams from seven provinces vie for the title of national champion when the 2016 edition of the under-18 national tackle football championship, the Football Canada Cup, kicks off Saturday July 9 at Investors Group Field in Winnipeg.
The tournament consists of three game days featuring four games each day on July 9, 12 and 15. The first and final game days take place at Investors Group Field while action on Tuesday July 12 takes place at East Side Field. Click here to view the full schedule.
With alumni such as Israel Idonije (1998, Manitoba); Laurent Duvernay-Tardif (2009, Quebec); Tevaun Smith (2010, Ontario East); Mehdi Abdesmad (2008, Quebec); Tyler Varga (2010, Ontario West); Hugo Richard (2011, Quebec); and Mathieu Betts (2011-2012, Quebec) – the tournament is one of the top spots for next-level recruiters to evaluate the country’s ever improving talent compete head-to-head.
“The Canada Cup is the premiere stop on the football recruiting circuit – it’s literally the single best scouting, identification and recruiting week of the year,” said Bisons long-time head coach, Brian Dobie. “There are few events where you can truly evaluate the top players from each province compete head-to-head in a high stakes tournament. The talent across the country continues to improve and I look forward to this year’s event, hosted in our own backyard.”
The tournament is also the start of the identification and selection process for Canada’s Junior National Team. Since 2013, the tournament’s top players have been invited to the International Bowl series to compete against the Team U.S.A. at Cowboy Stadium.
“The Canada Cup is a chance to identify and speak with Canada’s top players”, said incoming Junior National Team head coach, Steve Sumarah. “We have an incredible talent pool in Canada and high performance pathways such as the Canada Cup and International Bowl help prepare athletes for world championship competition with our Junior National Team.”
Action kicks off on Saturday July 9 at 11 a.m. CT with fourth place finisher from a year ago, Alberta, looking to rebound from missing the podium for the first time since 2010, as they take on last year’s consolation draw runner-up, Nova Scotia. At 2 p.m., New Brunswick will square-off against last year’s silver medalist, Ontario. At 5 p.m., Manitoba-Gold will face Prairie rival and defending bronze medalist Saskatchewan. To cap off a busy first day of action, defending champion Quebec will take on Manitoba-Silver, comprised mainly of athletes from northwestern Ontario which falls under Manitoba’s jurisdiction, at 8:30 p.m.
“Football Manitoba is excited for this great opportunity to showcase Canada’s national tackle football championship featuring the top U18 athletes,” Dale Jacobson, executive director of Football Manitoba said.
“We wish all the players involved in the tournament the best as they showcase their skills and talents at this national event.”
Games can be seen live online via webcast by visiting www.footballcanada.com on game day.
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