A note on KW United from Jeff Hughes

Editors note:
This letter is from the venerable Jeff Hughes. We had heard he gave a great speech to some coaches at Kitchener Soccer Club and we had asked him to write it up for us. Jeff’s support of KW United goes back to the first meeting of supporters when many of us chose the name “Forsyth’s Machine”. He was influential then in helping to build community support. So much so that United ended up appointing him Community Liaison for the team. This is a voluntary position that Jeff occupies and really is just a title for much of the work he was already doing and continues to do to build a soccer culture in this community.

The Premier Development League was created to help expand the game into more urban areas of USA and Canada, and to provide a league for NCAA and CIS players to play in their summer breaks without losing their college eligibility. For 2017 there are 75 teams in 10 divisions.

By supporting KW United, you are not just supporting one team, you are helping to grow the soccer culture in our region. We have opportunities for youth to be involved on games days as ball kids and player escorts, and we take bookings to bring a player or two out to one of your practice sessions to help out or just demonstrate and participate.

Every player (and coach, and parent) that we have had the pleasure of being involved with enjoyed the experience. I am sure we have helped inspire players to continue in the game and move to the next level and challenge themselves in their own development. For every fan of the sport that has been concerned about what we have – or do not have in our national programmes, we need to understand that the basic youth game and overall soccer culture is what needs to be developed and expanded to drive change upward. KW United has been helping this grow when they brought this team here. This is a high level of play that is tangible and realistic for our youth. There have been players from various countries playing here, and each year there are more local players involved. This is great to see. This is real.

In four seasons, KW United has seen over 20 of its players move on to professional contracts in MLS, NASL, USL and leagues overseas. KW did not create these players in the short PDL seasons, but this is sure a testament to the quality and level of player and league in our own back yard.

KW United FC is heading into their 5th season in our region, and now, more than ever, needs your help. KW United has been in talks with the ownership group for the coming Canadian premier league and has some large investors keeping an eye on the 2017 season. Fan, community, and corporate support will be key in helping KW United FC move to the next level. The CanPL would not only take us from high level amateur sport to a pro league, it will allow for a longer season for us to enjoy. Soccer is the most played sport in our region based on youth registrants, but unfortunately seems to be the least supported. Let’s get together to help change this.

Thank you,

Jeff Hughes
Community Liaison
2015 USL PDL Champions

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