Ihor Prokipchuk has plenty on his mind these days.
The Ukrainian-born Toronto businessman running a successful company in the heating and cooling industry and pre-occupied with a busy soccer academy, is about to launch Atomic FC, a team in the competitive Canadian Soccer League. All while his mind remains fixed on the daily strife in his former homeland which by chance makes his team the beneficiary of a number of players moving to Canada.
“I’ve wanted to play a greater role in professional soccer for as long as I can remember and the CSL gives me that opportunity to launch this team and include some players wanting to get away from the trouble where soccer has now taken a back seat. The players are grateful to Canada for the opportunity to play in the CSL,” said the former pro player from that eastern European country.
Several players have already been granted work permits to play in the CSL, including from Lviv, Ternopil and Dnipropetrovsk.
Toronto Atomic FC will kick off its CSL campaign in May, one of two additions in an expanded 12-team First Division in the CSL. SC Scarborough is the other, while Brantford Galaxy returns from a three-year absence and Milton SC moves up to the top division following a successful first year launch in the CSL Division Two. Other First Division teams in Canada’s top league this upcoming season are Brampton City Utd., Burlington SC, London City, Niagara United, Serbian White Eagles, Toronto Croatia, SC Waterloo and York Region Shooters.
Prokipchuck, who played for six years as a professional in a country where football is the dominant sport highlighted by a quarter-finals position for the national team in the 2006 World Cup and followed by a successful hosting of the 2012 European Championship.
Prokipchuk is surrounded in his soccer activities by an abundance of skills with no shortage of experience, including head coach Ihor Yavorsky, who holds a UEFA B licence and time in the Ukraine’s Premier League and First Division, while Stas Honcharuk, a product of the Dynamo Kyiv academy who excels as an instructor in the local academy environment, has played professionally in the Ukraine and Poland. He will be playing for the CSL professional team.
“We take our football very seriously and the CSL will find we have a very professional approach to the game as we channel our young academy players in the right direction,” said Prokipchuk. The Atomic Selects Academy is a member of the Canadian Academy of Futbol (CAF). Of course, we share the responsibility of supporting our people in the Ukraine. Everyone understands that Ukrainians are hard-working, decent people wherever they are and we in Canada will do whatever we can to help,” he added.
Atomic FC are also entering a reserve team in the CSL Second Division and both teams will be playing out of the LCI Institute Stadium in Toronto’s west-end for a kickoff expected to be the weekend of May 16.
Players seeking a tryout for first entry to professional soccer are invited to email firstname.lastname@example.org.