Canadian Premier League club, York9 FC last Wednesday continued its splashy off-season overhaul, by resigning T&T international midfielder Ryan Telfer for this season.
Following a successful spell with York9 FC last year, the 26-year-old winger left Toronto FC at the end of the season after they declined to pick up his option for 2020 and the 'Nine Stripes' as York9 FC are known, moved swiftly to secure the return of their former loanee, Telfer, from Nea Salamina Famagusta in Cyprus.
Last year, he scored eight goals in 26 matches in the inaugural season of the Canadian Premier League (CPL) – inclusive of the first goal in league history three minutes into the opener against Forge FC – and helped the club to finish third in the overall league standings, last season.
Overall, the versatile attacker made 32 appearances across all competitions for York9 last year and finished sixth in the CPL in scoring with eight goals, and added another two in the Canadian Championship.
He also claimed the honour of being the first person to score for a CPL team against Major League Soccer (MLS) opposition when he equalised against the Montreal Impact in the Canadian Championship.
Following the conclusion of the campaign, he took up a short-term contract offer to play in the Cypriot First Division in January after having been released in November by his MLS club, Toronto FC, who did not exercise its contract option on him after playing in 16 MLS regular-season matches, as well as 38 times for Toronto FC II.
Telfer’s short-term contract with Nea Salamis expired in May after he only made three appearances for the Cypriot side, starting just once and because the financial health of the club and the Cypriot league took a big hit due to the pandemic, the two sides mutually decided to part ways, rather than sign an extension.
From there, talks between Telfer’s agent and Yorke9 led to his return to the CPL.
“The (Cypriot) league got hit pretty hard. COVID created a lot of uncertainty with the league, and players and clubs. I wanted to head back home to be with my family while also playing so I talked to my agent about coming back to the CPL,” Telfer told CanPL.ca.
“I knew things would be hard all over the football world, but if I came home during this time and I’d be playing football, I’d be doing it at home and being with my family.”
Before signing with York9, there were other options on the table for Telfer including some teams overseas that were appealing but coming back to York9 made the most sense.
He has also been capped six times by T&T, with his first coming in September 2019 and scored in only his second appearance, against Martinique in the Concacaf Nations League, and in doing so, the Mississauga, Ontario-born player also added the accolade of the first international goal scored by a CPL player to his resume.
Commenting on his return to York9 Telfer told CanPL.ca: “York has always been a second home to me and it feels good to be back. To the fans and club, I’ve got unfinished business here. "I kept in touch with York9 staff while I was in Cyprus, and I could see from the outside the additions they made were impressive.”
“What they accomplished in bringing guys like (Michael) Petrasso, (Chris) Mannella, and (Nicholas) Hamilton, I was surprised how quickly they brought in these guys.
“From that point on, when I saw this from the outside, I thought York9 should be able to do a lot of good things for the upcoming season. I was impressed by what they’ve done, and adding me to that mix, I don’t think it’s going to be a fun experience for other teams to face us.”
Telfer was used in a variety of positions by coach Jimmy Brennan last season, playing both wings, in attacking midfield, and occasionally as a false nine or centre-forward.