Original club member Elijah Adekugbe and seven others leaving Cavalry FC

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Times are changing for Cavalry FC and the Canadian Premier League.

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Tuesday, Cavalry announced the departure of eight first-team players after the end of the 2022 football campaign.

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Elijah Adekugbe, an original member when the club formed four years ago, fellow midfielders Elliot Simmons and Joe Di Chiara, defenders David Norman Jr. and Tom Field and striker Anthony Novak are officially leaving the club. Calgary team this offseason.

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In addition, Karifa Yao and Jean Aniel-Assi are returning to CF Montreal after their loan spell with the cavalry.

“We’re grateful to the players for spending time with us,” said Cavalry general manager/head coach Tommy Wheeldon Jr. “They gave us everything they had.”

Wheeldon Jr. has coached Adekugbe — a Calgary product — since he was 10 years old.

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“He helped become a big part of the professional club in his hometown,” said Wheeldon Jr. “He is a mentally strong player with excellent technique who has recovered from two serious tendon injuries. ‘Achille. We thought it was time for him to hear a new voice and change his surroundings.

Simmons, a mainstay in midfield for three seasons in Calgary, has left to explore his options overseas.

“We’ve offered him to stay,” Wheeldon Jr. said. “But we respect his wishes and wish him well.”

Neither Field nor Novak could adapt to the Cavalry last season.

“Both had the misfortune to miss the season this year with their respective knee injuries,” Wheeldon Jr continued. health before he left the club.

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“Di Chiara and Norman joined for the 2021 season with a lot of promise. They are both great guys and solid players. However, between injuries and suspensions, we were never able to have a good run of Team matches with either to see their best, so wish them luck on their new chapters.

And then there are the two loaned players from CF Montreal.

“Karifa continues to grow and develop as an imposing defender,” added Wheeldon Jr. “We are grateful to CF Montreal for trusting us to further develop him and young Jean-Aniel. Jean has shown some exciting times at 17 and has a bright future in the game.”

As for league changes, Tuesday brought news of an increase in the league’s minimum player salary and total player compensation budgets ahead of the 2023 season.

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Minimum player salary increases by 36% to CA$30,000 for the 2023 season.

Other changes to total player compensation include the separation of each club’s player salary budget from the technical staff salary budget, now each with independent minimum and maximum spend. The two budgets were previously linked and limited to a combined total spend amount.

The result is an increase in the total player compensation budget of $175,000 for a maximum spend of $1.125 million, an increase of 18.5%. Additionally, the minimum a CPL club must now spend on its player compensation budget is $750,000, a 15% increase from 2022.

These changes were recommended by the league office and unanimously approved by the CPL Board of Governors.

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“Building on our excellent 2022 season, we are pleased to take another important step in the development of the Canadian Premier League by announcing increases in total compensation for our players,” said LPC Commissioner Mark Noonan. . “I am consistently impressed with the level of play in our young league and believe these changes will not only reward our current players more, but encourage potential players to consider the CPL as their league of choice.”

The $1.125 million maximum spend on player compensation can be achieved by clubs implementing the league’s Under-21 Player Incentive Program which was first introduced ahead of the 2022 season. It was designed specifically to encourage CPL clubs to recruit promising young talent. This program provides salary cap relief to clubs on the first $200,000 of compensation for players under 21, whereby only 50% of a player’s salary under 21 counts towards the salary budget cap. This mechanism allows clubs to earn up to $100,000 in relief (50% of $200,000) towards the $1.125 million cap.

“These significant changes continue to reinforce our mission to create opportunities for young Canadian players to showcase their talents at home and to build a league that everyone who loves the beautiful game here in Canada can proudly support,” added Noonan.

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