Sigma FC will hold its first ever winter college combine this week, hosting more than 40 coaches from across the United States and Ontario at the Hershey Centre.

According to Bobby Smyrniotis, the decision to host the event was a no brainer. After all, when U.S. coaches are calling and asking to put an event together, he didn't really have a choice.

"The tournament was an idea mostly from coaches in the U.S. that we have had a good relationship with over the years," he explained. "They came to us and asked us to put together an event where they could see the best players of the region."

Call it the price of success.

Sigma FC has forged strong ties with several collegiate programs after several years of taking teams to the United States for various scouting opportunities. Several graduates of the program have moved on to starring roles with their programs prompting some ongoing interest in the academy.

"Our name in the U.S. has gotten bigger and bigger. But most importantly, they understand that we are professional in the way we work, and the way we do things," said Smyrniotis. "Our players in the States are helping us. We have players who are playing key roles at their schools. That helps because they see that there is a system in place, where more players can potentially come from."

Sigma alumni Kyle Bekker was an All-ACC conference player this season at Boston College, while Emery Welshman broke school scoring records at Siena and was named MAAC Offensive player of the year andJarrett Hamilton garnered first team Summit league honors. Closer to home, Sebastien Novais helped Ryerson reach the Ontario University semi-finals for the first time in school history. On the west coast, Lucas Ferritto and Manvir Brar played integral roles in Simon Fraser's record-setting first year in the NCAA Div. II.

Smyrniotis said that more than 40 coaches have accepted their invitation to the combine. To ensure that the competition will be strong, Sigma has only invited the "best of the best" of players from the Toronto area to perform in front of the coaches.

With all the action being on one field, the tournament will provide optimum exposure to the players, as the coaches will be able to focus on the action without having to change fields.

"We have 40 coaches committed, and we understand that some may not show up. That's a great number, and there is one field and they are fully concentrated on each and every game," said Smyrniotis.

The showcase tournament will be held on Dec. 16-17 on the full indoor field at the Hershey Sportszone for players born in 1993-94.



Kyle Bekker Emery Welshman Nolan Holdridge








Jarrett Hamilton Manvir Brar Lucas Ferritto Sebastian Novais