Team got no respect in WMLF
The Hamilton Steel City Patriots will be playing in the Northern Football Conference this spring.
“They were the only semi-pro football league in Ontario,” said Pat’s owner and head coach Philip Constantini.
For the past two seasons the Patriots were playing against mostly American semi-pro teams in the World Minor League Football organization, but Constantini noted they were unable to get U.S.teams to come to Hamilton to play them so they decided to leave the league.
“We were prepared to make the commitment, they weren’t,” he said.
The Patriots will play their home games at Mohawk Sports Park field number one and the turf at St. Thomas More Catholic Secondary School will be the team’s back-up field.
Constantini said the Patriots are looking to attract 20-24-year-old players who still have aspirations to play pro football compared to the 28-30-year-old players they were recruiting for the U.S league.
Indoor workouts have begun at John Knox Christian School in Stoney Creek.
Outdoor practices begin in April at Hill Park Secondary School.
The Pats will play an eight game season with four home games and four road games.
Their first home game is slated for May 31 against the Sault Ste. Marie Steelers.
The NFC, which features a hybrid of Canadian and American football rules, dates back to 1954
At the league’s annual meeting in Barrie last month the Durham Hawkeyes franchise was transferred to Hamilton.
Constantini said the Hawkeyes owner has started a Toronto team called the GTA All-Stars.
Hamilton will play in the NFC West Division along with Sarnia, Sault Ste. Marie, Sudbury and TriCity.