Forge Football Club is a Canadian professional soccer club based in Hamilton, Ontario. The club will compete in the Canadian Premier League in the inaugural 2019 season and play its home games at Tim Hortons Field.
|Full name||Forge Football Club|
|Founded||May 6, 2017|
|Stadium||Tim Hortons Field|
|Capacity||10,000 (expandable to 24,000)|
|League||Canadian Premier League|
Hamilton was linked to a professional soccer team as early as June 2013, when reports first emerged of a professional soccer league launching in Canada. Hamilton Tiger-Cats owner Bob Young was part of a group of investors, predominantly from the Canadian Football League, working with the Canadian Soccer Association and president Victor Montagliani.
In February 2016, the ownership group sought permission from Hamilton City Council to erect a dome over the Tim Hortons Field playing surface to allow for year-long activity, including soccer. When the Canadian Premier League was officially announced, it was revealed that Hamilton's club would be the flagship franchise.
On May 6, 2017, Hamilton was one of two cities accepted by the Canadian Soccer Association for professional club membership when the Canadian Premier League was unanimously approved.
Forge FC was officially unveiled as the league's sixth team on July 12, 2018. The club revealed its crest, colours and branding, as well as its place in the league for the 2019 launch season. The name was chosen to represent city's industrial heritage and forging ahead building its future.
On November 29, 2018, Forge FC announced its very first signings: Kyle Bekker and Chris Nanco. Both players were a part of the much larger unveiling event that consisted of each team announcing its initial signings.
The club will play its home games at Tim Hortons Field, a 23,218-seat multi-purpose stadium stadium which had primarily been used for Canadian football. The capacity will be reduced to 10,000 spectators to provide an intimate setting for supporters.
Crest and coloursEdit
The crest is designed to represent both an 'H' for Hamilton and an 'F' for Forge. The open space in the lettering represents a waterfall, and the three orange sparks represent Forge FC's city, community and club.
The club's secondary crest is a hammer with the 'H' of the primary crest at the head, with six stripes on the handle to represent the six municipalities amalgamated in 2001 to form the new City of Hamilton: Dundas, Ancaster, Stoney Creek, Flamborough, Glanbrook and, of course, Hamilton.
The official club colours are spark orange, platinum steel and waterfall white. They are used to signify the sparks that come from the strike of a hammer, the local manufacturing industry and the many waterfalls across the escarpment.
To celebrate the city's birthday, Forge FC will wear a black and gold uniform for the first home game in June. The city's traditional sporting colours have been worn by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, the Hamilton Bulldogs, and the Hamilton Tigers.
The Barton St. Battalion supporters group was founded in February 2016 after details of the Canadian Premier League and a Hamilton club emerged. At the club's official launch, supporters of the group sat behind the stage and were revealed as the first 75 founding members.
Forge FC has a rivalry with York 9 FC, the only other Ontario-based team in the league. On January 29, 2019, the Canadian Premier League announced that the inaugural match of the league would be Forge hosting York 9 in the 905 Derby.
Players and staffEdit
- As of July 13, 2018
|Head coach||Bobby Smyrniotis|
- As of October 1, 2018
|Bobby Smyrniotis||Canada||October 1, 2018 – present||0||0||0||0||—|
- "Forge FC unveiled as Hamilton's Canadian Premier League club for 2019". The Globe and Mail. The Canadian Press. July 12, 2018. Retrieved July 12, 2018.
- Milton, Steve (June 6, 2013). "Ticats involved in early days of new vision for Canadian soccer". The Hamilton Spectator. Retrieved July 12, 2018.
- Milton, Steve (February 4, 2016). "Pro soccer team for city sees dome at Ticat field". The Hamilton Spectator. Retrieved July 12, 2018.
- O'Connor-Clarke, Charlie (May 6, 2017). "Canadian Premier League unanimously ratified by CSA". Waking the Red. Retrieved June 11, 2018.
- McIsaac, Greg; Gogishvili, Aaron (July 12, 2018). "Forge FC unveiled as Hamilton's Canadian Premier League Club". canpl.ca. Canadian Premier League. Retrieved July 12, 2018.
- W. Larson, Kurtis (July 13, 2018). "CPL forges ahead, adding team in Hamilton". Toronto Sun. Retrieved July 19, 2018.
- Milton, Steve (October 1, 2018). "Opinion | Bobby Smyrniotis named first Forge FC coach". TheSpec.com. Retrieved October 1, 2018.
- "Kyle Bekker, Chris Nanco reunite with Bobby Smyrniotis at Forge FC". Canadian Premier League. 2018-11-29. Retrieved 2018-11-29.
- Milton, Steve (July 12, 2018). "Forge FC's name a nod to city's past and future". The Hamilton Spectator. Retrieved July 12, 2018.
- "Emblem Inspiration". forgefc.canpl.ca. Forge FC. July 12, 2018. Retrieved July 12, 2018.
- O'Connor-Clarke, Charlie (July 12, 2018). "Canadian Premier League unveils Forge FC in Hamilton". Waking The Red. Retrieved July 12, 2018.
- "About Us". bartonbattalion.ca. Barton St Battalion. Retrieved July 12, 2018.
- "Hamilton Event: Watch Live". canpl.ca. Canadian Premier League. July 12, 2018. Retrieved July 16, 2018.
- Bedakian, Armen. "CPL inaugural match: Forge FC hosts York9 FC". canpl.ca. Retrieved February 16, 2019.
- "Player Tracker: Canadian Premier League clubs filling rosters ahead of 2019 season". canpl.ca. January 29, 2019. Retrieved January 29, 2019.
- "FORGE FC SIGNS SWEDISH MIDFIELDER ALEXANDER ACHINIOTI JÖNSSON". forgefc.canpl.ca. January 31, 2019. Retrieved January 31, 2019.