Lakeshore United – history of the Club
Rome wasn’t built in a day … or, in Polish, “Nie od razu Kraków zbudowano” …
It takes time to build something significant.
It all started in the hot summer of 1989.
A small group of friends decided to meet after work in High Park and play a game of soccer.
It consisted mainly of new Polish immigrants like Slawek Stelmach and a few “older ones”, who immigrated earlier like Jacek Urbanowicz, Tadek Dolbizno and Mark Galas. They were joined later by several Canadians of the Polish origin e.g. Krupka brothers.
It was nothing else but just friendly pick-up games. Any piece of grassed area of High Park would do, with ad hoc built of sport bags for goals.
Not too far from that playing ground lived a former great international player Grzegorz Lato, who, from time to time also took part in the games.
The enthusiastic group decided to continue their “soccer friendlies” also in the winter – at the gym at Crawford/King area.
As it often happens - the ambitious pioneers began thinking about organizing a small soccer organization.
As their first step, just the next outdoor season, in 1990, the group moved to a real soccer pitch, where regular trainings and games took place.
The group attracted quite also a number of players of different origins. Among them: Tom and Andrew Deely, Jan Danieluk and Graham Mills.
Graham, Tom and Andrew came up, right then and there, with the practical plan of organizing a regular soccer club that could play in the Toronto Service Soccer League.
The group of enthusiast started to play in this league in 1991 and the games took place on many different venues of West Toronto. Quite a difference from the previous year!
The team’s name was Jimmy Mac, from the sponsor’s name – Jimmy Mack Irish pub on Roncesvalles/Howard Park.
1992 was a special year for the club. Several new immigrants - former significant players - joined the original group. Among them we should mention Jan and Jarek Radzinski, Bogdan Polak, Marek Sieradzan, Krzysztof Tarnowski.
The level of the competition was improved almost immediately and the most popular venues of games were located in South Etobicoke (Ourland Avenue, Ambleside, Kipling/Birmingham).
The newcomers also tried to run the recruiting program to seek and encourage young players from within Polish immigration. Unfortunately – without any significant success.
The year 1996 can be called a stepping stone in building a stronger and better sport organization.
A very well know company “Piast Travel” with its owner Zdzislaw Wójcik, decided to jump on the band wagon. Piast Travel was the first really significant sponsor in the club history.
Also in the same year the club won a Conference Cup Championship in the Toronto Service Soccer League. A really unexpected achievement!
The new players who played on that team were: Piotr Polanski, Dariusz Bialas, Bronek, Rupert and Jarek Jareczek.
In 1997 Tom and Andrew Deely decided to change the name of the club from Jimmy Mac to Lakeshore United. More professional, nicer sounding, associated with the location of the club - name.
As all amateur organizations, Lakeshore United was going through its growing pains.
The core players like Deely brothers, Graham Mills and Mark Galas decided to leave the club and a brand new young and energetic organizer, Piotr Polanski, took matters in his hands.
Right from the beginning he was able to invite a new sponsor, Arthur Transport Inc. and his owner Józef Sarbinowski to join the club. Józef has been helping since, as a sponsor and player.
The new sponsor quickly attracted even more sponsors, who began supporting us in 1998.
Also many new players joined the club. We should mention here Robert Motyka, Maciej Jaworski, Rafal Strojnik, Tomasz Wójcik and Józef Maliniak.
These new players strengthened the team, which was able to advance to the First League of the TSSL in 1999.
At the same time another soccer club with the Polish roots, Polonia Mississauga, was going through the organizational troubles and a proposal of Jarek Janeczek, the manager of that Club to join forces with Lakeshore United got accepted by Piotr Polanski.
The new, bigger club was named Polonia-Lakeshore Mississauga and existed in such capacity for the next two years. The merger made possible to automatically advance the team to even higher league: Peel-Halton Soccer League.
The level of sport in that league was much more demanding and, unfortunately, the club was struggling.
Piotr Polanski kept changing the personnel and following new players joined the team: Jarek Kalbarczyk, Daniel Magdziak, Robert Kalbarczyk, Zenon Pietrzyk, Damian Nieznalski, Mario McGlashan, Conroy Thompson, Marcin Kantorowicz, Tomasz Tarczyluk, Szymon Kudasik, Pawel Lukaszewicz, Andrzej Facuna, Daniel Gareau, Adam Jurkiewicz, Andrzej Antolak, Tomasz Legierzynski, Artur Popczyk, Robert Brzakala, Tomasz Koscielniak.
These changes made it possible to improve the team’s sport level at that time practically – immediately.
The year 2003 was a break-through year.
The team was joined by Lukasz Lukaszewicz - then the best Polish player, Lukasz Kiedron, Rafal Piotrowski and Wiesiek Swol. “New blood” made the squad very solid with a bright future.
In 2004 something unexpected happened. After 9 rounds of games the undefeated Lakeshore United team was the leader in the Peel-Halton Soccer League! This situation fully mobilized all the players to a very serious engagement in training and games. In effect, at the end of the season, the team was able to advance to the Ontario Soccer League! A huge success!
The last and deciding a promotion match was very dramatic. The winning goals scored Krzysztof Bajewicz and, 5 minutes before the end of the game – Andrzej Facuna.
In 2008 the club hired Jan Pindiur as a coach, who, from his side, also attracted several new players.
Here are some more important names: Tomasz Cudzilo, Karol Czajka, Rafal Pindiur, Mateusz Kwiatkowski, Tomasz Chydzinski, Adrian Kudzma, Grzegorz Figiel, Kuba Borzyszkowski, Alex Ahmuda, Jacek Zielinski.
The year 2012 opened a new chapter of the club.
The new, and at the same time - a very old and proven idea of developing its own players got put into life.
The “Team U-20” was formed with the hope that some more talented young players would replace the aging players on the First Team. As we know – the older members have to balance more duties: families, jobs and in such amateur settings like our club often this task is difficult to fulfill.
The idea of a young team partly paid off in 2013. The club sent two young teams to Polonia Olympics in Kielce, with mixed results. In hindsight – one stronger team would be a better idea, but the underlying interest was to inject the Lakeshore United team spirit in the larger group of young, of Polish-origin players.
On the plus side - in the PALP league – the team placed second just one point behind the winner.
In the autumn of 2013 the President of the club Piotr Polanski with a small group of enthusiasts moved the organization in a different direction.
The idea: to create a community-based well organized club structure.
The organization became a non-for-profit corporation in October 2013 with a slightly modified name: Lakeshore United Inc.
Since then the first Chairman of the Board of Directors Dr. Bogdan Poprawski, well known and regarded Canadian Olympic Coach in athletics and ambitious and well organized President and CEO of the Club Piotr Polanski with help of others have been moving the organization into wide open waters.
The current structure is being built and our goals are to accomplish 4 main objectives:
- To run a Soccer Academy for beginners;
- To run competitive programs for youth;
- To run a competitive team in Ontario Soccer League and –
- To run soccer recreation programs for adults.
Lakeshore United has been a dominant force in the Polonia soccer movement.
Here are some more significant results:
PALP League Champions: 2002, 2004, 2008;
PALP Cup Winners: 2000, 2004, 2007, 2008;
PALP League Champions (indoor): 2008/9, 2009/10;
Polonia National Champions in London: 2010, 2011;
Zywiec Cup Winner: 2011;
1990 – 1992 Jimmy Mac
1996 - Piast Travel
2005 – 2008 MTMX Logistics
2006 – 2008 Atrium Restaurant
2007 – 2012 GraphPrint
2010 – 2012 Mikeski Truck Service
2011 – 2012 Piast Travel
1998 – current Arthur Transport (main sponsor 1998-2006)
2005 – current JEAK Logistics
2006 – current PMA Canada Ltd. (main sponsor)
2006 – current Apple Auto Glass
2008 – current Orbit Restaurant
2008 – current Brunco Insulation
2012 – current Spencer Group Inc., Realty Brokerage