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Trading York for Ottawa, Telfer signs for Atlético

Ryan Telfer, the former Toronto FC and York9 winger, has signed for Atlético Ottawa for the upcoming Canadian Premier League season.

Trinidad and Tobago International Ryan Telfer has completed his much anticipated move to the Canadian Capital following his time with York9 in the 2020 CPL Island Games.

Having appeared 16 times for MLS outlet Toronto FC (TFC) between 2018 and 2019, the 27-year-old went out on loan to York 9 in 2019 to gain more experience, featuring 28 times and scoring 8 goals for the Nine Stripes.

Telfer took the decision to play abroad in 2020 but unfortunately, due to the pandemic, his time in Cyprus playing for Nea Salamis Famagusta FC was cut short and the winger only appeared 3 times before returning to his native-Canada.

With Telfer’s experience both in Canada at MLS and CPL level, as well as his experience abroad make him arguably the Capital’s most exciting signing so far.

“Smiles and happiness” is the goal for the optimistic Ryan Telfer who is hungry to improve his game in Ottawa.

Taking a step-down away from the MLS and TFC was a big decision for the then 24-year-old Telfer, but the winger was not content with a spot on the bench.

After a successful season in the inaugural Canadian Premier League season in York Telfer was left at a crossroad. Return to TFC and fight for his place, going up against new additions to the roster with the club actively strengthening his position in the transfer market, or ply his trade elsewhere.

“They told me it was totally my choice to stay and try to fight for that position. Considering what I did and accomplished at York9, they thought it would be unfair to leave me on the sidelines, so it was in my hands to try to go to pre-season, but I decided to leave. I wanted to play regularly. That was the challenge that I wanted to take in,” the 27-year-old told

The monumental decision to leave TFc was followed up by a bigger decision, leaving Canada to play in Europe, a continent Telfer had never even visited before. The excitement the Trinidad and Tobago International had for his career abroad was cut brutally short as, after playing a handful of games, was on his way back to Canada due to the pandemic.

Having kept in touch with York throughout, Telfer returned to the city he attended University in (where he played for the same side as recent draftee Reggie Laryea) and featured 7 times in the Island Games in Prince Edward Island.

But despite a turbulent path so far Telfer has always shown signs of great promise and is only likely to improve with Ottawa in the CPL.

Speaking to CCSG, the former-TFC expressed his excitement about what’s to come for the CPL and was very optimistic about it’s potential.

“The CPL has everything in the making to become a top tier football league in the world under the right guidance,” - Ryan Telfer.

“Only 2 years of already existing, the competition is increasing every year due to the development of Canadian players either already within the system or those returning from abroad.”

Much like his former York9 teammate, and now fellow Atlético player Chris Mannella. The facilities in Madrid are leaving a sweet taste in the 27-year-olds mouth as they prepare for the upcoming season.

“The brand that Atlético carries is what attracted me the most, being able to play in front of an international brand that can help further my career excites me.

“The experience has been incredible so far, being able to kick off preseason in Spain and being able to train full as a world class institution,” he said.

Whether this means that Telfer is looking to use the Capital side as a springboard for another move abroad or simply plans to push Atlético Ottawa to new heights remains to be seen.

One thing we know for sure is the Caribbean International brings not only quality but also desire.

“Despite these times we live in, I hope to make the most of this opportunity to bring smiles and happiness in some form of way to the supporters of this club and the people of Ottawa.

If that means winning a championship or representing them at the international level, I promise to give 100%,” he told CCSG.

Telfer joins a promising attack for Atlético Ottawa which already consists of 2020 Goal of the Season scorer Malcolm Shaw, Jordan Webb & Bernardinho.

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