The fifth League1 Ontario season starts with a bang this weekend, featuring 14 matches across the men's and women's divisions.
In Game 10 of Matchweek 1, we head all the way down to Windsor TFC as they take on men's division newcomers, Unionville Milliken SC:
Windsor TFC will take on new addition, Unionville Milliken SC at their University of WIndsor facility on Sunday April 29 (2 p.m.).
Zibby Piatkiewicz heads up Windsor TFC for his second season, and he's been working all year to adjust plans and put his personal stamp on the side.
Windsor has always had strong players, but after speaking with Piatkiewicz this week, it seems they now have a strong and sustainable plan in place as well.
"We have a few important players coming back from last year," said Piatkiewicz.
"Number one is Jamar Kelly. He is going to play a big role in this team moving forward. He is going to make an impact on this team just as he has done in the past."
"The next one is Mike Pio, who is back for a full season as well. Very good attacking player and he will be a good example for our young players. Mike and Jamar are the types of players they should be looking up to."
"The third player is Kyle Vizarakis in net, very happy he is coming back, he said.
"He has been our big guy in the net for the last few seasons and he is a big, big help for us at all times. Now that his university career is over he will be able to focus on this team much more."
"The fourth player is Celso Carapau," Piatkiewicz continued. "He was the leading goalscorer in League1 for a while last season, and we'll be using him on a regular basis."
"The fifth player was a player we picked up this summer. He was up for a number of awards at the college player and he will be with us full-time now. He is a big target player up top, or in the midfield. Coretti Abepitan is his name and he is very strong player. He is excellent on the ball."
"A sixth player is Brian Woodfull, who played division I in the NCAA and he will be a huge help to partner with Jamar Kelly at the back," Piatikiewicz concluded.
"He is also back for the full season. That is the key - all of these players are back for the full year."
Unionville Milliken SC
Unionville Milliken comes into League1 this season with a men's side, to follow up on the success of the women's team in their first season last year. General Manager Jordan Holmes picked out a group of players to highlight for this new team - one that has declared itself to be fully-professional in its approach and model.
"We signed Joseph Di Chiara, who was the League1 MVP in 2016, and has been a regular All-Star with the Vaughan Azzurri. We've also brought in Tre Crosby, a young forward that rejoins Unionville from the Azzurri as well."
"We have Michael Fayehun, who was a starting centre-back for Woodbridge, and have added Basel Rashrash, who is a good U21 left sided player with some experience at Aurora," he continued.
"From there we have a mixture of guys that played in League1, some former York Shooters players as well, who will bring professional experience and also some younger Unionville guys that have finished in the OPDL and are looking forward to the challenge of playing against men."
"And last but certainly not least, Sergio Camargo is a player that played with Unionville growing up, and moved forward to the point where he was on the Championship roster for Toronto FC's MLS squad last season - we're very excited to have him back at Unionville this season, in a way he is coming home."
"We came up with a totally different strategy this year, we are going to have everyone here all season and plan to be competitive all the way through to October,"said Windsor's Piatkiewicz.
"No more university kids. The returning players have all graduated, and they can all focus on this team only. Plus we have a number of newcomers that have graduated university or are working."
"We also have some younger players coming from the academy, such as Max Baker. They played here and there at the league level last year, and so they are young but have good experience."
"Our youth had good experience last year and added muscle as well, but it was not our plan to rely on them. We have changed things drastically now and adjusted things moving forward," he added.
"If you want to just play in League1, what is the point. The point in this league is to play to win and develop players. You cannot try and start over half-way through a season and so we have adjusted things to that purpose."
"Doing things this way require patience and baby steps. You have to give it time and develop players, it takes a multi-year plan and I believe we have that now and a very good team as well."
Unionville Milliken SC
"Unionville has been in the business of producing top level players for 25 years or more and recently with the onset of OPDL and LTPD we want to be part of this restructuring and change of high performance play in the province," said Unionville men's head coach, Filipe Bento.
"The League1 team provides a point of graduation for our top young players to pursue university, professional or other high level opportunities."
"We want to rally the whole community around this League1 team and the club itself. We are looking to engage the community in the development of a professional club."
(L-R) Windsor TFC Owner Vancho Cirovski, Head Coach Zibby Piatkiewicz
Windsor TFC has only ever struggled for consistency, and that always appeared to be linked to stability in the roster as their core players have proven to be right there with the best; Windsor have beaten most of the big teams over their seasons in the league, and if all their core players are committed - watch out for this team to boss most opponents.
Unionville is a brand-new entity, which makes them impossible to predict. Of course, the club has gone with a pro model and brought in a group of very talented and well-known players from across the league.
But it takes time for every team to gel, no matter the quality of its individual parts, and Windsor is not an easy road trip.
Result: Giving this to the home side, who appear hellbent on proving a point this season ahead. Unionville to push them, but Windsor to edge a narrow scoreline.