Vancouver FC put name on football map with TransferRoom
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Vancouver FC put name on football map with TransferRoom
by Jonathan Rest

Canadian newcomers join football's digital marketplace to fill vital squad needs in the short term, with a long-term vision to provide global pathways for their players.

TransferRoom has become a must-have for any serious club that wants to do business in the transfer market. If we want to take part in the global marketplace, then having a platform to put our players into the shop window in the future is going to have a large impact on the number of clubs we can get looking at our players with the help of moving them on.
Oliver Gage
Director of Football, SixFive Sports & Entertainment

Doing business fast and effectively

 

Transfer windows are a busy time for many clubs, but when you are a brand-new club and need to build a squad ahead of your league debut inside just a few months, the pressure escalates.

 

That was the task facing Oliver Gage when he joined SixFive Sports & Entertainment, the group that owns Vancouver FC and fellow Canadian Premier League club Pacific FC, as Director of Football.

 

TransferRoom counts more than 650 clubs from over 100 leagues across 60 countries. Every day, clubs share their requirements and make thousands of players available.

 

It turned out to be a strong calling card for the CPL’s newest club.

 

Gage explained: “Whereas most clubs might be looking for five or six changes in the off-season, we are looking to build a full squad of at least 23 players, so having a global marketplace available to us has a huge impact on the speed at which we can find available targets. 

 

“TransferRoom has become a must-have for any serious club that wants to do business in the transfer market. If we want to take part in the global marketplace, then having a platform to put our players into the shop window in the future is going to have a large impact on the number of clubs we can get looking at our players with the help of moving them on.”

 

He continued: “The ability to pitch relevant players to clubs looking at certain profiles and positions is going to be huge for us. In terms of incoming players, the ability to send a quick message to almost any club in the world and get through to a key decision maker there, a Sporting Director or Head of Recruitment, saves an awful lot of time and energy.”

 

Decisions based on real-time information

 

While still a new league - the CPL turns five in 2023 - it has already established itself as a place where young players can gain valuable first-team experience. Cavalry FC are among the clubs already showcasing the league's talent pool on platform, having joined in the previous year.

 

And that’s why Gage believes Vancouver FC will be an attractive proposition for clubs looking to outplace players on TransferRoom.

 

He continues: “We face two major challenges in the transfer market. The first is salaries, especially when we are looking at European players. But the one major advantage we have here is the ability to offer what I believe is the most valuable currency in football: senior first team minutes for young players. 

 

“A second challenge is the reputation and understanding of our league. It’s only five years old. The more players we have developing in our league and moving on to represent us around the world, the more likely we are for people to have an understanding of exactly what we’re all about.”

 

Real-time market intelligence on TransferRoom helps clubs make informed buying decisions, providing recruitment teams with the tools to uncover hidden gems in the transfer market they did not know much about.

 

Gage, who has an analytical background having been Head of Performance Analysis & Technical Recruitment at Houston Dynamos in Major League Soccer earlier in his career, explained: “I think the integration with data on player profiles [on TransferRoom] is a great way to very quickly see how our player is performing regardless of the league. When you see the spiderweb and it’s above average in a number of categories, at least in my opinion I’m instantly interested to find out more information. If we have a top performer here at Vancouver, I am hoping other people see the same and are excited to go digging for a little bit more on the player.”

 

Untapped talent in the Americas

 

As the CPL continues to grow and establish itself as a competitor to MLS, a league which has an agreement in place for all its clubs to gain access to TransferRoom, Gage believes it will similarly become an attractive destination for players from South and Central America.

 

It’s a region where TransferRoom has grown exponentially, with a host of clubs from Brazil, Chile, Peru, Argentina, Uruguay, Colombia and Honduras joining the platform, all seeking direct access to decision makers that will facilitate cross-border transfers.

 

And it's something Vancouver FC is ready to take advantage of.

 

He added: “Being where we are geographically and certainly in my experience in MLS, I think the majority of Central and South America is still hugely undervalued. Maybe not so Brazil or Argentina but there are some incredible players over here earning quite frankly very little. It’s very difficult for us to find an established player from Europe without asking them to take a pay cut.

 

“I think the strategy for us is to take the young Europeans that need the senior minutes to showcase themselves and develop, or Central and South Americans who are looking for something different and perhaps a way out of their home nation.”

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