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Vaughan Takes East Division Title After 5-0 Win Over Toronto Skillz

By League1 Ontario staff, 09/26/16, 4:30PM EDT


Vaughan Azzurri yet again showed the depth and quality that has brought them to the top of the east division in 2016, beating Toronto Skillz 5-0 and clinching the east division title. 

"We had seven players today under the age of eighteen, so they will probably get even more chance before the playoffs begin to see what they can do," said Vaughan assistant coach, Patrice Gheisar. 

"This is primarily what we are trying to do in our program, to give the players every chance to become better footballers." 

Braces from Mario Kovacevic (8', 70') and Jarek Whiteman (17', 62') combined with a single from Jason Mills (45') provided an unassailable lead for the Azzurri, while keeper Shyon Gaaeni earned kept a clean sheet.

[Mario and Jarek] were fantastic, and have been very consistent throughout the season for us, and more importantly they have been very great tutors for the young kids," added Gheisar. 

"They have shown them how the game should be played, in regards to their workrate and their ability to get goals. You could see on those goals all the work they did to keep possession, work hard, and their technical ability is superb."

At times a young Toronto Skillz side really struggled to keep up with the Azzurri, and rising frustrations resulted in the visitors going down to ten men following the late first-half dismissal of Ameel Dharsi (45 + 3'). 

"You could see the game starting to take a certain turn, players starting to lose their composure, and we were hoping to get to half-time and make a few changes but sometimes the whistle doesn't come soon enough," said Toronto Skillz head coach, Leslie "Tiger" Fitzpatrick. 

"Just a disappointing game from the first minute to the ninetieth. We were outplayed and credit to them. They came out and you could see there is a reason why they are at the top of the table and fighting for the league championship. They have clinched the east division now after this result, so congratulations to them." 

Fitzpatrick focused on the positives however, and indicated that the Skillz organization already have their eye firmly fixed on the horizon of next season.

"We have some injuries, and one player off in Europe, and some guys out in school at the moment," he said, "so it has been a work in progress."

"I was speaking with Vaughan's Patrice [Gheisar] just before the game and telling him how well the young players were doing, as we have seen some of these younger players come out in the past few weeks and do well, but with that also comes the lumps. You know when you play with a young team that you are also going to have days like this and when you have the spine of your team - three starting midfielders - out of the game, that definitely affects your performance also." 

"We have been looking ahead to last season over the last month or so, and that is one reason why we have been giving minutes to some of the younger players, and looking to see if we can upgrade in a few spots. We definitely need to upgrade the backline for example. We have a strong young nucleus, but if you just go with the youth than you are going to have a lot of days just like this one. We definitely need to upgrade in certain positions and it has been a good season for us to see where we need to, and to reinforce the ones that have done well."

"All credit again to our two youngest players today - Thanujan [Jayathilaka] and Roen [Fordyce-Hlywaka], stepping in as a 2000 and 2001 - who showed that they can hold their own and belong. It's something that we have to look forward to in the future, and I think if they keep going like they have been we are going to be in a really good way."