Simcoe County Rovers’ new co-owner ‘the perfect role model’ for women’s soccer

The Simcoe County Rovers have announced that Canadian soccer star Janine Beckie has acquired interest in Rovers Sports and Entertainment Group.

A forward with Manchester City in the FA Women’s Super League and the Canadian national team, Beckie won a gold medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and a bronze medal at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

As per club policy, financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.

The Rovers are a newly formed, Barrie-based professional football club playing in the third division of Canada’s football pyramid, League1 Ontario. The club operates a men’s and women’s first team and the season runs from April to September.

Beckie retweeted the club’s announcement on Twitter by saying she was delighted to join the Rovers as a minority owner.

“A club with big aspirations and the right people to take Canadian soccer to the next level,” Beckie said in her tweet.

Having previously played for Sky Blue FC and the Houston Dash in the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL), Beckie is one of the most decorated Canadian soccer players ever, winning the two Olympics Games medals, having represented Canada at the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019, winning three CONCACAF medals for Canada (2016 silver, 2018 silver, 2020 silver), and is a two-time FA Cup winner with Manchester City FC (2019, 2020).

She joins fellow active national team members Cyle Larin and Doniel Henry as co-owners of the Rovers. The group is led by Canadian soccer icon Julian de Guzman, along with Peter Raco, Kosi Stobbs and Will Devellis.

As a world champion, Beckie believes now is the time to invest in Canadian club football.

In a statement provided by the club, Beckie also said it was a smart time to do something like this and she was just impressed by the professionalism around the Rovers.

Also via a club statement, de Guzman said: “Janine is a trendsetter and the perfect role model for the future of women’s soccer in Canada.”

“Having her as co-owner will heighten and expand the growth of the game not only in the Huronia region, but the entire nation,” he added.

On Monday, the club announced its inaugural signing for the men’s side in League1 Ontario four-time all-star Leaford Allen.

Pre-season action begins in March and more ownership announcements are expected to take place in February.

The club has formalized youth affiliation agreements with top youth programs representing more than 6,500 youth members through Aurora FC, Barrie Soccer, and Athlete Institute FC.

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