Midfielder Sean Rea and goalkeeper Jonathan Sirois had loan moves announced this morning. Each are off to CanPL club Valour FC, the side James Pantemis helped out at least season’s CanPL Island Games.
The loan is for the 2021 season and Montreal reserves the right to recall either or both of the players at any time.
The moves please CF Montreal Sporting Director, who is happy to see the club’s young guns get the opportunity to put minutes in on the field, rather than sitting benched without seeing action.
“As we did with other young Homegrown players in our Club like Giraldo, Yao or Ferdinand, these loans give them the possibility to play more minutes.
“Sirois will have the opportunity to play every weekend, which would not have been possible here. It’s a great opportunity for Jonathan, who isn’t even 20 yet, to gain experience, like James (Pantemis) did when he was loaned to Valour last season.”
Sean has showed since the beginning of our training camp that he can play minutes in the CPL. It’s good for his evolution and for us long term.”
Sirois, 19, signed his first professional contract with CF Montréal in March last year. He joined the Academy in 2015 after playing with amateur club Spatial Saint-Hubert.
Sean Rea, 18, signed his first contract with the first team in December. The former Soccer St-Leonard player joined the Montreal Academy in 2014, and also represented Canada at the U17 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, in 2019.
Valour FC GM and Head Coach, Rob Gale is also happy with he development. “Our patience paid off in the end. Some (CPL) teams made their moves early and if you’re not in too much of a rush there’s always going to be players who have gone through MLS pre-season training that are just on the outside of the squad.
“That’s when their club has a decision to make – they’re probably too good for U-23 football, but might not be guaranteed minutes at the first-team level because they’re competing with some of their big international stars.
“You look at Montreal and goalkeeping and attacking mid are two positions that are tough to crack.”
Sirois was on the periphery of MLS action once last season when he sat on the bench for Vancouver Whitecaps against Chicago Fire after Maxime Crepeau was injured. Cap’s goalkeeping coach Youssef Dahha, formerly of the Impact coaching staff, was familiar with the player and was instrumental in arranging that particular move.
Gale went on, “In talking to some of the national team coaches Jonathan is seen as the heir apparent to James [Pantemis] as a guy who would be in the next Olympic cycle. He’s a player who is in a similar position that James was in the last couple of years and with James ahead of him in the Montreal pecking order we reached out to see if there might be an opportunity for Jonathan to come in.”
Rea has been on Valour’s radar for at least a year now, and Gale was hoping to bring him in, like Pantemis for the Island Games.
Gale: “He did really well with [former Montreal coach] Thierry Henry in training at the end of last season heading into their Concacaf Champions League game. We thought he might make the first team this year and heard he was pushing. Then their new manager (Wilfried Nancy) came aboard and they said, ‘He’s right there or thereabouts, but he needs guaranteed games.
“That’s where we come in to help.
“We’re bringing them knowing it’s going to be a congested season and we’re going to need a full squad and have competition,” he said. “We’re know they can compete, but there’s no guarantees to anybody. We wouldn’t be bringing them in if we didn’t think they could contribute immediately, but they have to earn their stripes same as anybody else.
“In their cases, this is better than being at Club de Foot where they’re really on the outside looking in right now. They’re on the inside and it’s a smaller squad and in a tight season where it’s guaranteed there’s going to be injuries, they’ve basically got a 50-50 chance with 22-23 players on our roster.”