Lethbridge group submits application to join Canadian Junior Football League, could hit the field in 2022

FILE PHOTO - The Prairie Football League is looking at a proposal to add another football team in Lethbridge. AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File

A new team could be added to the Canadian Junior Football League (CJFL) within the next couple of years, following an application submitted by a Lethbridge group.

Led by local football enthusiast Anthony Parker, the interested party has brought forward its wish to begin the expansion process, which has received support from members of The Prairie Football League (PFC), a division of the CFLJ.

In a release Friday, PFC president Randy O’Shaunessey says they are happy to begin examining the proposal, adding it will take time and must be carefully considered before going forward.

“We are keenly focused on evaluating the strength of the proposal including the financial viability of the sponsor group,” O’Shaughnessy said. “There will be challenges to discuss and overcome and there are many details to work out before we would be able to grant a franchise membership to the PFC.”

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Throughout the winter, the Lethbridge Organizing Committee (LOC) will work to develop a business plan to address the logistics of the proposal, including use of funds, determining a venue, and recruitment strategies.

In March 2021, the organizing committee will have to present a business plan, at which time PFC board members will vote to either approve, deny, or request more information from the party.

The CJFL currently has 18 teams in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Ontario, with players ranging in age from 18 to 22.

If Lethbridge were added to the PFC, they would be joining teams from Edmonton, Calgary, Saskatoon, Regina, and Winnipeg.

According O’Shaunessey, no new teams have been added to the PFC since the Winnipeg Rifles joined approximately 18 years ago. The most recent team added to the CJFL is the Quinte Skyhawks, which is expected to hit the field next year.

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