Dave Hales was in at the start of something special when he began following MLS new boys Toronto FC in 2007 and is hoping history repeats itself with auront.
Passionate about the beautiful game, Scot Dave was season ticket holder No. 85 when Toronto began life in the Eastern Conference.
The tough times he had to endure in the club’s formative years proved worthwhile last season when the domestic treble of the MLS Cup, Supporters’ Shield and Canadian Championship were all won.
Having been the first person from Canada to join Chris Ewing’s ground-breaking global football project which will allow fans to run a club with aspirations to make the Premiership by 2025, Dave’s hoping to see a similar path to glory.
“After moving over here in 2004 I was lucky to see the start of Toronto in MLS in 2007 and got season tickets early doors – I think I was No. 85,” said the 52-year-old, who lives in London, Ontario, about two hours west of Toronto.
“They were terrible in the early years and took a long time to get going but last season they won everything which was great. You never know with this. Hopefully it goes from strength to strength.
“I read about it and decided to throw my hat into the ring as well. I like the fact I can be on the sidelines but still be involved with what’s going on.”
Dundee United fan Dave, who set up the Toronto Arabs DUSC, added: “I like the idea of this, and then when I saw a guy from Finland chatting to someone else from Glasgow on one of the forums, I thought to myself: ‘Yeah, I want to be part of this’.
“In some respects the further you are away from it, the easier it is for this kind of thing to gain ground as you’re looking for a connection back home.
“My love of football started when I lived in Newcastle as a kid then I moved back to Scotland with my dad when I was nine and settled in Blairgowrie. I started to follow Dundee United not long after that.
“When I moved to Canada it was difficult to see them on TV so I started to follow Toronto. It was easy to add them to the mix and then when this came along, it was the same and I especially liked the idea of being in at the grassroots as I was with Toronto.
“I’m hoping to spread the word a bit more as well as there is a whole bunch of us expats who play football together here on Sunday mornings.”