Wall of Excellence
CYS Volunteer of the Year
Recipient: Alissa Koth and Steve Farnan
This award is presented annually to a person who consistently demonstrates the outstanding qualities of a devoted and reliable volunteer, making the Cambridge Youth Soccer experience better for all those that surround them.
Cambridge United Volunteer of the Year
Recipient: Jamie Fraga
This award is presented annually to a person who consistently demonstrates the outstanding qualities of a devoted and reliable volunteer, making the Cambridge United experience better for all those that surround them.
Jacob Wehrle Memorial Scholarship Award
Recipient: Dimitri Vogiatzis
Hall of Fame
2020 Inductee: Gino Battistone
2006 was not a good year for CYS.
The club was under enormous scrutiny from Ontario Soccer and the local media and was on the verge of financial despair with a uniform contract gone awry.
An adjudicator was appointed by Ontario Soccer to attend a raucous AGM at GCI amongst a crowd of angry CYS members.
It was time for a change and a time to usher in a new era.
A new Board of Directors was formed and a new President was elected and together with a dedicated group of volunteer board members they sought to right the financial ship. Most importantly, they wanted to be as transparent as possible and again gain the trust of the membership.
Under the guidance of this man and his team of tireless volunteers, CYS were about to take a giant leap forward. Throughout 2007 the board members worked alongside the City of Cambridge to design and build the city’s first indoor soccer facility.
In November 2007 the club hired its first full-time general manager and the Com Dev Indoor Soccer Park opened on December 1st. Since then the club has grown to include 7 full-time staff and an additional array of part-time office and dome employees as well as technical staff.
I can certainly say, without a shadow of a doubt that the success the club has achieved over the last decade both on and off the field is a testament to the group of volunteers that took on the responsibility of resurrecting the club in 2006.
Today we are proud to honour the man who oversaw this group. CYS President from 2006-2008, Mr. Gino Battistone.
2019 Inductee: Ann Dick
Ann was a pioneer for girls soccer in Cambridge. She founded the girls soccer program in 1975 and was responsible for overseeing Girls House League and Representative teams for many years. Ann always took an active role in assembling and travelling with the female teams to the Can Amera Games. Her dedication and hard work made her a very popular coach and role model for many female players that came through the club’s ranks.
The growth of the female game within the club is certainly a testament to Ann’s dedication to the sport.
2019 Inductee: Tom Palmer
Tom was the first ever coach recruited to the newly formed Cambridge Youth Soccer in 1974. He previously coached with Preston Minor Soccer going back to 1968. Tom was involved predominantly in coaching House League Boys u14-u18 due to his job requiring shift work. However, he became known over the years for developing many fine players that went on to become excellent senior players in this area.
Tom was always the first person at the field for games and practices, putting up the nets and marking the lines. In his words, “it had to look like a proper football pitch.’
His support to and dedication to the advancement of the club was second to none.
Tom passed away of a heart attack while playing old-timers soccer in 1998. He is memoralized on a bench that overlooks one of the Intermediate Fields at Riverside Park.
2019 Inductee: Alan Heyes
Alan was a former CYS President and also served in the capacity of Secretary, Treasurer, Equipment Manager, Convenor, Assistant-Coach/Manager of Rep Teams. Alan was also instrumental in the organization of CYS teams in the Can-Amera Games. Alan was the type of person who worked quietly and tirelessly behind the scenes for many years and he is certainly owned some gratitude for the success of the club during the 70s and 80s. Alan and his wife retired to St. Luke’s place.
2018 Inductee: Les Payne
This gentleman arrived in Canada in 1967 and settled in Preston a year later in 1968. He was asked to referee a number of local soccer games that summer.
He became a Coach with CYS in 1981 and coached his son from 1981 through 1986 in House League and the CYS select boys from 1987 to 1991.
He came back to CYS in 2009 to coach for a few more years as his grandchildren became old enough to join our program.
In 1985 he joined the CYS Board as a league statistician. He was told CYS did not have the capacity to run a fundraising Soccerthon similar to what had been done in Kitchener.
When he was elected president in 1986 he oversaw the hiring of CYS’ first paid staff person and was instrumental in organizing the first of many CYS Soccerthons that summer as well as producing the first CYS newsletter (Soccer Strips).
In 1987 following tournaments in Detroit and Saginaw, Michigan CYS identified the need for a single location to host tournaments which eventually led Riverside Park having two full size soccer fields.
In 2006 he was asked to chair an emergency meeting of the club which was attended by over 200 members. A new Board of Directors was formed after that meeting and many of those members relied on him for guidance as they sought to take the club to the next level by opening its very own indoor soccer facility.
He was also the last chairman of the CYS indoor committee.
He asked me to say a few words on his behalf today and I quote: “The friends made over the years volunteering and participating in soccer events has certainly been an important part of my life here in Canada. I played the game until age 67 and reffed my last game on my 70thbirthday. I would like to thank the CYS board once again for the 2010 nomination for the Ontario Syl Apps and Meritorious Service Award and for this further adding of my name to the CYS Wall of Excellence”.
Ladies and Gentlemen it is my pleasure to honour 2018’s inductee into the CYS Hall of Fame, Mr. Les Payne.
Les couldn’t be with us today, and will accept his award from CYS at an upcoming Board of Directors Meeting.
2017 Inductee: Charlie Scott-Field
When CYS first decided to go forward with the Hall of Fame concept a meeting was held with several former club presidents and executive members to get their input on some of the folks whose dedication to soccer in Cambridge ought to be recognized.
One name stood atop everyone’s list. This gentleman was the face of the organization in the early years and for many more to come after that.
In 1968 Preston Minor Soccer was formed with 4 teams. He, along with Phil Cole, Pat Duggan and Tom Palmer played a vital role in forming that organization.
In 1972 Galt Minor Soccer was founded under the leadership of John Quin. That same season this man was responsible for helping to organize the first Can-Amera Games between Cambridge and Saginaw, Michigan. He served for 30 plus years as a volunteer in the soccer portion of that event.
In 1973 he spearheaded the formation of Cambridge Youth Soccer, as Galt Minor Soccer and Preston Minor Soccer amalgamated into one entity. CYS was the first sports group in the city to amalgamate and become a true city-wide organization. He became the first official President of the organization when the first elected President decided not to continue. This was a position he held for 10 years. Additionally, he was also the first President of the Waterloo-Wellington Soccer Association, the precursor to the South West Regional Soccer Association.
In 1980 along with coaches such as Ann Dick, Jean Wilson and Ann Stewart he was responsible for setting up the first Girls Soccer Program in Cambridge. This same year he was named as a Life Member of Cambridge Youth Soccer.
He also served the club on the field for many years as a coach in the CYS rep program. There’s a good chance that many of the parents and even some grandparents of CYS players today had the privilege of learning the game from this gentleman.
In addition to his work with CYS, he also served as the Technical Director of the Ontario Soccer Association and was also a coaching course conductor for the OSA for 27 years, and, despite leaving Cambridge in his retirement always came back to conduct Children’s, Youth’s and Senior Courses for CYS on behalf of the OSA.
He was also an accomplished referee, serving as the Lead Instructor for 5 years of OSA Technical Clinics and was an assessor at National All-Star and CIS University National Championships.
He also served for over 10 years as the Head Coach of the Cambridge Special Olympics Soccer Program
Cambridge Youth Soccer certainly would not be in the position it is today without the tireless efforts of one of the its greatest volunteers and ambassadors, for not only the club, but the city of Cambridge as well.
2017 Inductee: Galt Football Club
The second inductee into the CYS Hall of Fame, is not a person, but a greatly distinguished team. The Galt Football Club was formed in the early 1880s as a member of the Western Football Association and was a powerhouse team, not just locally, but nationally and internationally. The Galt Football Club were the first winners of the Ontario Cup in 1901 and repeated the feat in 1902 and 1903.
Their most famous achievement was winning the gold medal at the Olympic Games in St Louis in 1904. Upon their return to the Malcolm St railway station by GCI, some 3,000 fans were there to greet them, a testament to the popularity of the team and the sport in the community.
In 1905 a match was played at Dickson Park in Galt against a touring English side called “The Pilgrims” in a game that was billed as the “Championship of the World”. 3,500 spectators and press from all over eastern North American attended the thrilling match which ended in a 3-3 tie.
More recently, a fictitious storyline surrounding the Galt Football Club, was played out on an episode of CBC’s Murdoch Mysteries.
Although the Galt Football Club disbanded in 1910, their legacy lives on. The CYS Cambridge Heritage Tournament is an annual tribute to the accolades of the Galt Football Club.
They were pioneers of the soccer community and were responsible for introducing the game to the youth of Cambridge.