... Coach Jason Beckford believes the sky's the limit. “We are so pleased for Allen as a local Barrie boy to be recognized by the national team at the U17 level. It is a testament to his obvious ability, but also for the professional environment we have created at the Rovers to enable players like Allen to grow.”
Allen Saye-Blegay, a young Canadian of Liberian descent, has been invited to the Canadian U-17 World Cup Provisional Squad in Brazil as the team prepares for the much-anticipated FIFA U-17 World Cup in Indonesia 2023.
As part of preparations for the upcoming FIFA U-17 World Cup, Canada will play Brazil on September 29th and October 1st in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Blegay is expected to play a key role during the friendlies as Canada looks for a win.
Blegay, who played for Simcoe County Rovers as a right back, is one of Canada's best young prospects and significantly helped the Rovers lift the League 1 trophy in its second year while securing a spot in the Canadian Championships for 2024. Born in Barrie in 2006, he contributed positively to the Rovers' championship season, helping the second-year team lift the League 1 trophy and secure a spot in the Canadian Championships for 2024.
He played 15 games for the Simcoe County Rovers this past season, starting 10 of them and recording 2 assists while playing against men 5-to-7 years older than him, on average. Blegay began his playing career in Barrie, where he played for the Barrie Soccer Club from 2016-2018 before moving on to Aurora, Woodbridge, and Vaughan teams. He joined the Rovers for the 2022 season.
When asked what it means for a Barrie boy to make good and receive this prestigious opportunity, Saye-Belgay had no hesitation with his response. “It’s a blessing, and all a teenager who loves the game of soccer can ask for. Without the Simcoe County Rovers coaching staff, fans, and family support, this wouldn’t be possible. It’s only the beginning though. Looking forward to the journey.”
Coach Jason Beckford believes the sky's the limit. “We are so pleased for Allen as a local Barrie boy to be recognized by the national team at the U17 level. It is a testament to his obvious ability, but also for the professional environment we have created at the Rovers to enable players like Allen to grow.” “Furthermore, it highlights the quality of our recruitment by identifying him as a player of talent who could make the jump from youth football in the OPDL to men’s football. Hopefully, he will be the first of many Rovers that get recognized at the international level. From all of us at the Simcoe County Rovers, well done, Allen,” Beckford said.
Blegay, whose Liberian mother, Susu Sophia El, is a pioneering female bodybuilder, has been tipped for a brighter career as a result of his extraordinary talents. Canada, according to its Coach, is immensely proud to have Blegay in its ranks to fiercely compete against other national teams for the upcoming FIFA U-17 World Cup, which showcases some of the world's brightest young football talents.
Reflecting on her son's selection, Susu Sophia El said, "It is an absolute honor for my son to represent Canada at such a prestigious tournament.” “I am deeply appreciative of the support our family has received from Rovers FC, his coaches, teammates, and everyone who has contributed to his journey. He is determined to give his all and make our great nation, Canada, proud."