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Being in a position to witness a player’s growth from their first day at the Club throughout the duration of their time with us is a beautiful thing.

Alex Bizzarri

Director of Football Operations

York United FC

× The interview with Alex Bizzarri was conducted via a typed conversation. Editing changes were made to make it easier to read while maintaining the voice of the interview.

1Tell us about your role as the Director of Football Operations for York United FC.

My role as the Director of Football Operations for York United FC ranges from multiple areas within team and player operations. If I could try to categorize it I would use the following categories:

  1. Player/Staff Immigration:
    Working with our Immigration Lawyer in the process of getting foreign players/staff into Canada from when we first agree to terms with the Player/Staff member to when they land in Toronto Pearson.
  2. Player/Staff Accommodation:
    Working with our Real Estate Agent in the process of securing accommodation for players/staff, maintaining strong relationships with the various Landlords,
    coordinating/working through any issues that occur throughout the tenancy.
  3. Travel/Training Logistics:
    Ensuring travel needs (Hotel, Flights, Bus, Meals, etc) for pre-season trips and away trips are met for the team throughout the duration of the season, ensuring team have training facilities scheduled throughout the duration of the season.
  4. Overseeing ‘Performance Departments’:
    Working with technical and medical staff to ensure they have the necessary resources to be successful on a day-to-day basis and that both departments are running smoothly and tackling any issues that arise.
  5. Player/Staff Recruitment:
    Working with GM in recruitment process of players and technical staff, working with key stakeholders from agents to League HQ.
  6. Team/Player Administration and Onboarding:
    Various admin tasks, ensuring new players and technical staff are comfortable and settled from when they first join throughout their duration at the Club.

2What’s the best thing about your job?

Seeing players grow; a big part of what we do at York United is recruit young players with the pursuit of moving them on to a bigger and better Club.

Being in a position to witness a player’s growth from their first day at the Club throughout the duration of their time with us is a beautiful thing.

In addition, being in a football environment every day whether on the training ground or on Matchdays and building relationships/working with various types of people from my own Club’s staff to staff from other Clubs, League staff, players, agents, etc.

3What’s the most challenging thing about your job?

  • Juggling the various tasks that are either scheduled or pop up on a day-to-day basis.
  • Understanding how much time/energy to dedicate to certain tasks is a challenge because there’s always a lot to do and it can get overwhelming.
  • Making and keeping everyone happy! Albeit impossible, it’s my nature to strive for it but naturally that comes with a multitude of challenges.

4What advice do you have for people who want to do what you do?

Do whatever is necessary to get your foot in the door and make the most of the opportunity from there by always being on time, working more than you are compensated for and constantly working with the mentality of having to prove yourself.

Understanding that there will be more difficult moments than great ones is key as your internal motivation/desire will need to be strong to overcome these difficult moments.

5How have things changed since you first started working in this industry?

I can speak from a CPL/League-wide point of view and a personal point of view within York United.

At York United, there has been quite a bit of player/staff turnover from 2019 to now.

Navigating working with different types of people and personalities from year to year has been a learning experience and challenging at the same time, as we’re all trying to reach a common goal but which path we’re going to take to get there is the challenge.

From a CPL standpoint - it has been encouraging seeing the League constantly work to improve standards across the board from a Player’s perspective to a Staff/Team perspective.

Kareena Aranha Kareena's Final Thoughts

Connect With Alex Bizzarri

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