Stuart Neely appointed L1BC General Manager

Vancouver, BC – (Feb 20, 2024) – Stuart Neely has been selected as the new League1 BC General Manager, bringing a wealth of soccer coaching and administration experience to British Columbia’s Pro-Am level.

Neely has worked in the game since 2008 when he became Academy Director at Toronto FC. Since then, he has taken influential roles in soccer development at Canada Soccer Association, New Zealand Football, and Vancouver Whitecaps, as well as coaching in varsity programs, League1 Ontario, Concacaf Champions League qualifiers, and Canadian youth internationals.

In the last two years, Neely has spent time as the Director of Football for Pacific FC and then Vancouver FC in the Canadian Premier League, gaining a deep understanding of soccer in British Columbia and League1 BC’s current and potential impact.

Neely joins League1 BC after Sian Bagshawe stepped down from the General Manager role having supported the men’s and women’s competitions through their first two seasons.

In another two years time, Canada will be just months away from co-hosting the FIFA World Cup – one of several upcoming tournaments that Neely believes will strengthen the opportunity at League1 level.

Neely said: “Finding ways to help underpin those initiatives and programs is important, and League1 across the country is one of those supporting ventures.

“Canada and the game itself have given me a great deal, so League1 across Canada is quite close to my heart. From the players to coaches, to administrators, to the match officials themselves, there is an opportunity to learn from each other and to improve what is currently here. That’s exciting; I can see growth opportunities within that and particularly here in BC.

“League1 BC took two years to get to where it is and that takes everyone understanding what is required to be involved in a competitive league with standards. There are big shoes for me to fill and I’m proud of the work that people have done for the game here in BC which ultimately reflects and impacts the game across Canada.”

John Gibson, Interim General Manager of League1 Canada, said: “Stuart has tremendous experience, a wealth of knowledge and outstanding relationships across the Canadian soccer industry. He has worked at every level in Canada and brings excellent administrative qualities to the role.

“We are so fortunate to have found a candidate who is able to hit the ground running and who shares our collective passion for developing opportunities for players, coaches, match officials and clubs at the Pro-Am level.

“We would like to thank everybody who put themselves forward for this role, and congratulate Stuart on his appointment. We look forward to working with him to further unify, align, and elevate the game in Canada.”