Tag Archives: football

Brits In Toronto have partnered with Toronto FC to offer discounted tickets to the British community


“What? 25% off tickets? Deserves a round of applause, that does.”

In part 1 of exciting football news regarding Toronto FC and Brits in Toronto, the two hugely successful organizations have partnered up as BFFs to offer some decent ticket discounts to the British community.

If you’ve never seen a live TFC game before or are a Brit visiting Toronto on a scouting trip as a possible city to move to, then take full advantage of this offer, save some cash and pay a visit to BMO Field.

BUT THAT’S NOT ALL! There will be some more exciting news soon whereby TFC and Brits in Toronto will host a meetup before the Sporting Kansas City game on Friday, June 7. We’re talking pre-match pub … reserved seating area at the game … FREE stuff … and end-to-end action with tons of goals (for TFC, obvs). So mark your calendar to “work from home” that day because it’s about time we all met for a chinwag, beers (ginger ale if you’re driving) and some ruddy good fun with the Brits in Toronto community.

If you can’t wait until then — already counting the days, right? — then read on for the discounted tickets offer for the following matches:

WED MAY 15 at 8:00 P.M. VS. D.C. UNITED

Click here and use the password “BritsInToronto” to get up to 25%* off the ticket price. The flyer is here if you wanted to check it out.

For additional information, season ticket questions or to book a group of 10 or more, please contact fellow Brit in Toronto Jake Wyatt at jake.wyatt@mlse.com or give him a bell on the dog and bone at 416-815-5400 ext. 3072. Please tell him Brits in Toronto sent you!

*Discount percentage calculated off on single ticket price + any eligible service fees.


Hemingway’s is looking for a football supporters’ club to make it their HQ


The future HQ of your football supporters’ club or a stock photo stolen from Google?

Hemingway’s is a great pub with an even better patio. If you haven’t been there or are new to Toronto we highly recommend it. (That should earn us a free pint.)

Joking aside, Daimin reached out and alerted Brits in Toronto to the fact that the pub is looking for a football supporters’ club to make it their regular HQ.

Here’s what he wrote:

“Reaching out, we are interested in getting one of the supporters’ clubs that is looking for a home down to Hemingway’s.

“Our only challenge is we are looking for a smaller club … the room we would make available only holds 50-60. So I know that rules us out of some of the bigger clubs, but perhaps there is a group out there where we could be a good fit.

“Anyway, e-mail me at daimin AT hemingways DOT TO if interested.”

So, there you have it. Run a football supporters’ club with no place to cheer or commiserate come match day? Sorted.

ADP Soccer Academy are hiring for a full-time coach. Know anyone?


Think you can teach people how to knock these in the back of the net? Might be a full-time job in it for you

Now, this is a superb opportunity for someone who likes football and thinks they can teach others to play the beautiful game. Paid too. Yes. A full-time job kicking a football around.

Josh Bill, Director and Founder of ADP Soccer Academy in Oakville and Mississauga contacted Brits in Toronto. Here’s what he said:

“I moved to Toronto three-four years ago and have recently set up my own soccer academy business in Oakville and Mississauga. We have six full-time staff who I have flown over from the UK and employed, myself being from Stoke-on-Trent and some others spread around the UK.

“We also have former Stoke City Premier League player Andy Wilkinson working for us.

“We are looking for a full-time member of staff to coach in our academy. They must have coaching qualifications. Can you help?”

Job done, Josh.

The official title is Soccer Head Coach and the salary range is $30,000-$35,000.

If you or anyone out there in Internet land are interested in the position, please e-mail Josh at josh AT adpsoccer DOT COM or dog and bone him at 905-276-0676.

Please mention Brits in Toronto if you do …  and good luck!

Behind the scenes of … a football blog and podcast


Left to right: Rishay, Alexander, Mohaned and Bernie ponder over some top-notch banter in the Coshcast

Back in March 2015 we started a series of articles themed, “Behind the scenes of …” with the aim of finding out what goes into particularly British things. We profiled a fish and chip shop and then never did another one for some reason. Until today!

We found these lads and really liked the cut of their jib. They are passionate about the beautiful game and created a brilliant football blog called Under The Cosh and weekly podcast called the Coshcast to back up their knowledge and opinion. It’s very funny.

There’s a Brit in the group — Alexander — so we sent an e-mail and probed him harder than Sergio Aguero in a West Ham defence. Here’s what he told us about running a football blog and podcast …

Firstly, why the name Under The Cosh?

There are so many football websites that we wanted something unique. We also wanted something British because it was the British game that we all grew up watching.

“Under the cosh” is a phrase used only by British commentators. Admittedly, not many people here know what a cosh is, but they tend to love the phrase once explained to them.

If I recall correctly, a couple of other candidates were “Into Row Z” and “Two Banks of Four,” but given we do a podcast, the “Coshcast” just seemed too perfect.

Please introduce yourselves, where you are from and how you got together? Any Brits in the team?

There are four of us: Mohaned (Egyptian), Rishay (Indian), Alexander (British) and Bernie (Nigerian).

All of us are Canadian citizens but also Anglophiles at heart due to our long-held love and interest in English football as well as growing up in British colonies (all is forgiven). Only Alexander is a true home-grown Brit though, growing up as he did in North London.

We all moved to Toronto in 2006/2007 for school and attended the University of Toronto. That’s where the group was formed, though we didn’t start the website and podcast until 2013 after we’d all graduated. The four of us now work in different industries but football runs our lives.

We actually bonded over the shared experience of dragging a laptop over a sleeping significant other at 7:00 a.m. Canadian time in order to watch a noon kickoff in the UK. Pretty sure that’s a standard British expat experience now.

How much time a week do you put into creating content for the blog?

The podcast is the one constant recurring chunk of time on a weekly basis. With the preparation for it, the travelling to get together, recording, editing and uploading … I’d say we spend about seven hours a week on that.

After that there are the articles that we publish — whether original or submitted by guest writers — and writing or preparing that content for publication is probably another four or five hours a week. Of course, there’s also being on Twitter all the time …

How do you decide what you’re going to chat about on that week’s Coshcast?

We have categories that we almost always cover; the English Premier League takes up half the podcast, with the other half split between news from the other major European leagues, a Toronto FC update when MLS is in season and two lighthearted segments: the football quiz which is named after a new player every week (Quiztophe Dugarry, Santi Quizorla etc.) and Mumu of the Week.

“Mumu” is a Nigerian pigeon slang word that Bernie taught us, meaning “fool,” “idiot” etc. So for Mumu of the Week we find the funniest or most ridiculous off-pitch stories from the world of football and have some fun taking the piss.

Last week for example we had a right laugh at Ryan Giggs for claiming that Swansea couldn’t match his ambitions, and a Norwegian manager who wants to use sperm from Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Cristiano Ronaldo to produce a world-beating team in 20 years. You can’t make this stuff up, Clive.

In May, I believe, we plan on awarding the season’s biggest mumu the Bellend D’or.

Preparation goes on throughout the week, though. We have a Google document that acts as the agenda and we fill it up as the results and stories roll in.

Obviously Brits love football, but what kind of reaction do you get from your Canadian audience to the beautiful game?

The local appetite for football coverage is definitely growing and we know that a good portion of our reader and listenership is Canadian, which is great … but of course there is still a huge difference between here and the UK.

In Toronto I am still surprised and delighted if I overhear a conversation about football, whereas back in England it’s just innate and constant. What we’re trying to do is provide the level of depth, passion and humour with which the game is talked about in the UK to the Canadian “market.”

I think there’s some quiet dissatisfaction with the mainstream coverage of the sport here. The level of debate, analysis and even personality or humour that you get on Canadian TV leaves a lot to be desired. Craig Forrest seems like a lovely bloke but, let’s be honest, it’s the West Brom of punditry.

That said I suppose we can always be grateful that Sportsnet haven’t hired Robbie Savage or Michael Owen yet.

The Canadian football-supporting scene is a fascinating one. Given Canada’s urban diversity, a lot of people move or grow up here already supporting teams from elsewhere.

For example, the Canadian-Italian community has a great presence online that is very strong on its support both for Toronto FC and for various Seria A clubs, or if you go to a Toronto Arsenal Supporters Club event you’ll find a group of passionate young people with truly global backgrounds.

I think our content probably speaks most to this urban population who grew up with the Premier League or European football but are also pleased to have a local team to support.

Equally there is a base of Canadian national team(s) supporters who have fought hard for a long time to promote and popularize football in this country, and support for Toronto FC has been first class from the club’s first day with the stadium packed full of people desperate for local football.

We would dearly like to produce more content aimed at Toronto FC and Canadian national team fans but it’s a question of hours in the day. Our first love is British/European football and we’re always likely to have more fun discussing the expansion of Steve Bruce and Troy Deeney’s waistlines over the expansion of MLS, as sad as that might be.


The lads having a bit of a giggle on their football pilgrimage to Europe

Spill the beans on your upcoming Football Trivia Night. And do you organize any other social events for Brits or football lovers to hang out?

We’re really excited about this! For a couple of years we’ve thought that a football trivia night would be fantastic, so we’re looking to merge the traditional British pub quiz with Toronto’s massive appetite for trivia and our perceived encyclopedic knowledge of the beautiful game.

We’re working on questions that will make this a lot of fun but also a really good challenge for those that reckon they know their stuff. We’ll cover the Premiership, European leagues, World Cups, we’re planning visual rounds and “identify the commentary” sections. It should be a good laugh!

The first event is taking place upstairs at Betty’s (King and Sherbourne) on Wednesday, November 2 from 7:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m. It costs $10 to play, we’re aiming for eight teams of four and there is a substantial cash prize for the winners! Betty’s has a good beer selection and food too so I can’t think of many better options for a good evening.

You can sign up on the Facebook event or, if you don’t use Facebook, feel free to send us an e-mail at underthecoshblog AT gmail DOT COM.

We’re putting the night on in partnership with OpenSports which is a great, locally-designed app that allows you to create or find and join games of pick-up football (or many other sports) going on around Toronto.

Feel free to tell us anything about Under the Cosh or running a football blog that Brits in Toronto readers should know.

If you’re a Brit in Toronto and into football then we strongly believe this blog is for you. We cater to the Premier League as already mentioned, but are also supporters of the local side Toronto FC. The club couldn’t have grown in the way that it did without the support of British expats who set the tone for football fandom here.

We also aim to highlight football at a grassroots level and the main players in that area. We’ve interviewed former players like Paul Stalteri, Nolberto Solano, Danny Dichio, Kanu and Bruce Grobbelaar who are all invested in youth development in Ontario.

All in all, running a football website and podcast is the best thing we’ve ever done. It led us to travel to Europe on a football pilgrimage that we documented and we’ve met legends of the game. Well worth it.

All feedback is welcome and if there are football-related events you’d like to see happen in Toronto, get in touch and let’s talk about making them happen.

Where will you be watching EURO 2016 in Toronto?


It’s almost here! Where are you watching the games?

Now the Premiership is done and dusted, it’s time to turn our thoughts to Euro 2016. To say we are excited is an understatement.

It’s fantastic that England, Northern Ireland, Wales and the Republic of Ireland all qualified. We are very sad that Scotland didn’t make it this time around, but hope they’ll still throw their support behind the Brit contingent.

So, that begs the big question — where will you be watching the games?

Some fans prefer to host at home, maybe with some beers and a barbecue, or slip away from the office and watch the game in the lobby. Some companies are kind enough to set up TV screens … we remember that in the last World Cup … as the time difference from France means most games will start at lunchtime or early afternoon.

The Brits in Toronto crew love to meet up with fellow fans and find a pub to watch the games at. Nothing beats putting on your chosen team’s shirt and living the agony and ecstasy with those of the same ilk.

Here’s a list of pubs to start your research.

We are interested in suggestions for the best pubs or other locations to watch the games in Toronto, so please tweet or e-mail us, or leave a comment under this post.

We know it’s still 21 days away but want to get prepared!

Cheers in advance.

Update June 9, 2016
And here is the list from blogTO.

Update June 3, 2016
Here’s Opera Bob’s Euro Schedule to plan your days of hooky.

Jack Astor’s at St. Lawrence Market says, “We have a great big screen TV and will be showing all the games with sound!”

Update May 27, 2016
And here’s our first entrant. “Just wanted to get the word out that we’re showing the Euros on the telly at our pub! My Drunk Uncle’s Pub, 300 College Street, with a proper surly bartender and cheap beer!”

Local British football supporters clubs needed to Rock the Pitch for charity!


Come and kick some leather around for a good cause

Ross from Opera Bob’s Public House got in touch with us to help spread the word about Rock the Pitch, a charity football tournament taking place on August 30, 2015 at Crescent School.

Opera Bob’s is also the Toronto HQ of the Manchester City Supporters Club who are taking over the organization of this year’s tournament — now in its seventh year.

They are looking for as many local British football supporters clubs as possible to take part this year, to raise funds and awareness for such a great initiative and have a fun day out on the pitch.

More details on the official Rock the Pitch website, flyer and Sportsnet article.

So, pass it around (just like you do on the pitch) to anyone who thinks they have what it takes!

CONTEST: We have five pairs of tickets to Toronto FC vs. Manchester City FC up for grabs!

Caption here

How good is that, eh?

Ever since Toronto FC announced a friendly against THE Manchester City FC on May 27 at BMO Field, Brits in Toronto wanted to get involved in some small way. We love these games where the Premiership is pitted against MLS, in our adopted city of Toronto.

And thanks to our very generous friends at Manchester City FC, we have an exclusive free contest where you can win one of five — yes, five — pairs of tickets to see the match!

How good is that? You’re welcome 🙂

Some of the Brits in Toronto crew attended the Toronto FC vs. Tottenham Hotspur friendly last summer, and let us tell you — whatever your team allegiance — it was an amazing occasion, full of atmosphere and excitement. Tons of fellow Brits there too, obviously.

We have no doubt that TFC vs. MCFC will be exactly the same, and we’re pumped.

Who will take it?

Who will take it? Red blokes or blue blokes? Be there!

So, how can you win the chance to grab a pair of free tickets? Simply click this exclusive Brits in Toronto link, fill out some quick details and a representative from MCFC will pick five winners of two tickets each.

Nothing to lose. And get the chance to be there and see whether the reds or blues prevail …

As Alan Partridge would say, “Back of the net!”

The England team that will win the World Cup

"Hey you, the Three Lions crew, show what you do, make a break, make a move!"

“Hey you, the Three Lions crew, show what you do, make a break, make a move!”

The England football team manager, Roy Hodgson, today unveiled the names of 23 blokes that the hopes of a country will be resting on come the World Cup in June.

Brits in Toronto REALLY likes his choices, with a few slight exceptions.

We think that Liverpool winger Raheem Sterling, 19, and Liverpool midfielder Jordan Henderson, 23, are excellent selections, having just come off a sterling English Premier League campaign, only narrowly missing out on the title to Manchester City. Hopefully, that momentum will keep spurring them to success.

Arsenal’s Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, 20, is also a good choice, having had a great season too. And Southampton’s Adam Lallana, 26, is a no-brainer for us as well — fantastic season.

Brits in Toronto are still on the fence about Everton’s Ross Barkley, 20, but hoping that he will be the breakout star of the tournament … there always seems to be one, so why not an England player?

Finally, we disagree with the selection of Frank Lampard (getting up there and doesn’t seem to play to his best in World Cup/Euro) and possibly Wayne Rooney for the same reasons. We hope they prove us wrong.

Just a footnote as to why people are disappointed not to see Gareth Bale in the England team. It’s because he’s Welsh.

There you have our humble opinion on the England team heading to the World Cup. It’s a young, hungry squad so let’s all get behind the Three Lions!

The Official England House is gearing up for World Cup 2014

Come on Engeeerrlllannddd!!

Come on Engeeerrlllannddd!! Shit. See you in 2018 then

If you haven’t heard yet — but if you read this site on a regular basis, we hope you have — there’s a little sporting event coming up in June 2014 called the World Cup.

To Brits in Toronto it is probably THE sporting event that we all look forward to the most. The predictions, putting the England flag on your car, joining the office World Cup pool for a fiver … and … above all … planning what pub(s) you will be watching in!

That’s where The Official England House may be able to help. Their aim is to bring passionate fans together to watch the game, with some added value.

From their site:

“Frustrated at the lack of planning and empathy from the local pub trade, [a group of England supporters] … put together a group of about 40 to 50 football fans who would gather together in their local under the badge of ‘England House.’ They had no plans to promote or push the group, only to welcome anyone that wanted to come and watch England games with them, with a typically British ‘more the merrier’ attitude.”

Here’s their promo video:

Just a quick note to clear the air. Brits in Toronto had a slight Twitter scuffle — or Twuffle — with The Official England House a few weeks ago. Bit like when a Gooner walks into Scallys. Full story here.

The Brits in Toronto position is that most people tend to have a local pub they like to frequent for football games, they know the staff etc. That’s why we list some good recommendations and let fans make their own minds up. So we don’t stand behind or represent any one pub. There’s just some we really like.

But, we recognize what The Official England House is trying to do = bringing England fans together to support what they love. Brits in Toronto STRONGLY SUPPORTS THEM and feel it’s very similar to what we are trying to do with this website = bringing Brits in Toronto together for that common ground.

Anyway, welling up here a little so check them out on Twitter and Facebook and give them a shout. Cheers!

What Toronto pub do you watch your football in?

Hours of number crunching the data produced some disappointing statistics

Hours of number crunching the data produced some groundbreaking statistics*

The great thing about Toronto is that you can put on your football scarf, wander into a pub on game day and mix with other football fans. You can also get out alive, which is a nice, respectable way to enjoy the game these days.

I had a quick look at the Brits in Toronto football page and — although chuffed that we have just over 50% of the English Premier League represented — still want to complete the full tally.

So, if you know which Toronto pubs fans of the following teams watch their matches at, drop us a quick line. Much appreciated.

  • Southampton
  • Swansea City
  • Hull City
  • West Bromwich Albion
  • Fulham
  • Cardiff City
  • Stoke City
  • Norwich City
  • Crystal Palace

*Illustration copyright Brits in Toronto 2013. All rights reserved. Unlawful copying or reproduction of the data is strictly prohibited.

Pubs that show football in Toronto

And England miss another penalty. Oh well, see you in four years

And England miss another penalty. Oh well, see you in four years

So it’s game day in the English Premier League and you’re dying for a pint, a bit of English brekky and a good pub to watch the game with like-minded fans. Where are the best places to go in Toronto?

Here are some I know of:

The Duke of Gloucester
The HQ of U-Sector (Toronto Football Club supporters group) who have created a shrine to their team in the nook.

The Toronto HQ of Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool, Everton and Chelsea.

Opera Bob’s
If you’re a Manchester City fan you can connect you with like-minded fans of the football club.

As you can see, this list is by no means complete. If you know of any other fan pubs in Toronto please contact me and let me know so I can add them to the list.