1970 Hamilton Italo CanadiansTeam of Distinction

    The 1970 Hamilton Italo Canadians was the first successful team of local players in a time when waves of accomplished immigrant players were stacking the ranks of very strong ethnic teams. The Ontario Inter City Soccer League (OICSL) based in Hamilton and run by Hamiltonians Bill Rutlidge, Alex Fotheringham and John Brown was the undisputable premier amateur league in the province. All the Hamilton Italo-Canadian players, with the exception of the Quaglia brothers perhaps developed in the local youth system.

    The Italo Canadian team was run by the Unione Sportiva Italo Canadese club (USIC) located in the Barton and Sherman area. The club president was Guy Civello. USIC was probably the finest sports organization in this area ever, led by the soccer team manager Nino Craboledda and bicycle racing team manager Claudio Pante that assembled one of the finest soccer and bike racing teams in the country.

    As a member of the powerful OICSL, the 1970 Italo Canadians put together a string of 16 wins in a row and were crowned as League Champions. That year the Italo Canadian also won the coveted Spectator Cup trophy, emblematic of soccer supremacy in this area.

    The highlight of the season, however, was winning the Ontario Cup, officially putting claim to being the best team in the province. Italo Canadian beat Toronto Irish 1-0, after a 0-0 draw in Toronto, in a game at Hamilton Civic stadium, presently known as Tim Hortons field. The kick-off was performed by the then Minister of Health, John Munro, with the participation of Hamilton mayor Vic Copps and the Vice-Council of Italy signor Di Vincenzo. The game was decided on the 59th minute by Frank Cirillo on a goal described by Hall of Fame writer Don Lovegrove as “Cirillo unleashed a low shot between two defenders that went into the bottom corner of the goal”. To the jubilation of the players and the over 2,000 fans, the Ontario Cup finally came home to Hamilton to roost, after an 11year absence when Hamilton City had last won it.

    There were a couple of regrets as the triple champions Italo Canadian were denied an opportunity to play in the Canadian Challenge Cup, since that year was the ONLY non-war year it was not held. The 1971 version of the Italo Canadians was even a better team, but the awarding of 2 penalty shots to the Windsor team by local referees in the semi-final, and denying Hamilton one in the dying minutes of the game, kept them out of the Ontario Cup final. The team was coached by Camillo Ianieri and trained by Jim Beattie.

    TEAM ROSTER: Ardo Perri, Tony Marino, Sam Pennetti, Giulio Di Giandomenico, Frank Riga, Ray Trevisan, Jimmy Cirillo, Nelson Pratas, Frank Cirillo, Charlie Balaz, Gabriele Quaglia, Marcel Di Ianni, Domenic Quaglia, Stan Dozzi, Lucien Salvi, Domenic Zaffiro, Lino Pauletto.

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