STATEMENT IN REGARDS TO CIARA MCCORMACK’S STORY: A HORRIFIC CANADIAN SOCCER STORY
My name is Jack Reddy and I’ve been a long-time coach at many different levels of the game in Canada.
I’d like to address comments from Coastal FC after the posting of Ciara McCormack’s blog: “A Horrific Canadian Soccer Story”.
I joined Semiahmoo SC in the suburbs of Vancouver, Canada, in the fall of 2008, assisting the technical staff working with team coaches and doing technical and tactical work on Saturday mornings in preparation for Sunday games.
Then in 2009 I was appointed as the GM for the Club’s 2 Women’s (U21 and Women’s) teams in the Pacific Coast Soccer League (PCSL). I also joined Semiahmoo SC’s Technical committee in 2009 and looked after the women’s program.
As a coach I followed the 86ers closely and continued to follow once they turned into the Whitecaps. I made a point of watching the Women’s & Men’s Whitecaps train whenever I could as it was a passion for me to improve as a coach and I thought the training sessions were first class.
I thought Coach Billy was very well organized and had great knowledge for the game. I very much respected him as a coach, and thought he was excellent.
Because of this, I was shocked to hear that he was leaving the Whitecaps Women and also the Canadian National Women’s Program suddenly in October 2008, a coach that had success and had great knowledge of the game.
Through conversations and chats with other coaches and friends in soccer, I was told that he had allegedly engaged in inappropriate behaviour with a player and was asked to leave. This was the information that was spoken of in the soccer community at large at this time.
In 2010 or early 2011, Semiahmoo SC (Girls and Women) and Peace Arch Soccer Club were in discussions to merge and create one club to participate in BCSPL.
Our club (that would later become Coastal FC) would be known as South Fraser FC. After this was done, we had 2 temporary technical directors that were a part of the technical committee. The technical meeting was always meeting once a month and as part of the committee I attended all of the meetings and we always had one or two directors in the meeting.
I also remember GK, current President of Coastal FC as one of the technical committee members.
During one of these meetings at the clubhouse at South Surrey Athletic Park, it was 2010 or 2011, it was discussed that we had a complete team with coaches, managers and trainers joining our club and it was mentioned the coach was Coach Billy.
It was also mentioned that one of the parents on the team, was personally paying Coach Billy to coach the team. Previous to this, the team was playing for Tsawwassen prior to it merging with other clubs to form South Delta United.
Some details of the transfers were discussed and during this, I asked if they knew that Coach Billy was asked to leave the National and Whitecaps programs and gave what I heard as the reasons for his departure which I had heard, stated above.
It was mentioned that “he was not charged and these were allegations only.”
To this, I stated if this was the case, why would they ask him to resign?
I was informed in the meeting that he was NOT asked to resign, that in fact they mutually agreed to part company.
Once again, I stated that if the matter was not serious, why would Coach Billy leave and not stay and fight the allegations?
It was stated that it was in the best interest of all the parties involved and that there would be no more discussions on that.
When current Executive Director of Coastal FC, CM, joined the club that became Coastal FC, the club was known as South Fraser FC.
Because of my heavy involvement with community soccer and community clubs, and having worked with him before, CM was interested in discussing the possibilities of having those players and teams moving to South Fraser FC and the possibilities of working with the summer clubs.
So, we agreed to meet one morning at the Starbucks in Delta to discuss this idea.
There were three items discussed that morning
- Summer Teams and how we could work with them and bring the players and teams to join South Fraser FC. I told him that because of what had happened at his previous club, the community of which I was very involved was not very happy. He said that it was all hearsay. I was not comfortable with it, but accepted what CM told me. And we moved on to the second topic.
- The second topic was CM’s private company that was doing elite player placement. After listening to him for some time describe the company and how some of the Whitecaps players were involved, I asked him if it was not a conflict of interest since he was now in charge of running South Fraser FC. He mentioned the Club knew about his own business and that he was only working as a “consultant” at the moment, paid on an hourly basis. With my connections in Australia, New Zealand and knowing the community well, he was asking me if I would get involved in identifying elite players and connecting them with his company. I told him I would look into it, but was not comfortable with the fee for each player. Then we moved to the third topic.
- The last item I brought up was the reputations of clubs when they were hiring management, coaches and staff. This is where I mentioned Coach Billy, and stated that parents of young athletes might hesitate to move to our club. He said that we should not discuss this, and above all he was never charged. He said that it was “hearsay” so I left the topic.
From the articles in the newspapers and what I have read, Coastal FC are saying that they did contact the Whitecaps regarding Coach Billy and in fact they did acknowledge they were aware of this in that Technical meeting. This could have been before or after our technical meeting where I mentioned the situation, no one knows except the club and the person who hired him.
Perhaps this is why they were unwilling to discuss it at the Technical meeting that I was at, but I was clear with my concerns about Coach Billy.
Because correct protocol was followed perhaps this is why CM did not want to talk about it any further with me when I brought up my concerns. I do not know. If Coastal did contact the Whitecaps then the Whitecaps are guilty of not being upfront and honest as to why they parted company.
But I was clear in my concerns about Coach Billy to CM.
Coach Billy has been placed into this situation not only by the Whitecaps and Canadian Soccer but also by the first club that hired him after the incident.
There should have been more information given and more research done. It is a sad situation but everyone must take responsibility for their actions.
What I want to make clear is that the leadership of Coastal FC was definitely aware of these allegations against Coach Billy because I voiced them as outlined above.
This is the only statement that I will make on this issue and am not interested in talking to the media. – Jack Reddy.