Forge FC promotes Jelani Smith as it continues to revamp front office structure

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HAMILTON — Forge FC continued its front office restructuring Tuesday, promoting Jelani Smith to director of soccer operations.

The former Canada youth international has served as the Canadian Premier League team's club's manager of soccer operations since the franchise's inception in 2018.

On Monday, Forge announced Bobby Smyrniotis was getting a four-year contract extension in an expanded role as head coach and sporting director. Smyrniotis was named the team's first-ever technical director and head coach on Oct. 1, 2018.

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The moves come some three weeks after Costa Smyrniotis, Bobby's brother, left his post as Forge's director of football and business to become the CPL's executive vice-president, soccer.

Smith, a former Guyanese senior international, played club football in Austria (Sturm Graz) and Germany (SSV Jeddeloh).

"Jelani has been an instrumental part of Forge FC from the beginning serving as the club's manager of soccer operations." Bobby Smyrniotis said in a statement Tuesday. "His continued growth within the club and expertise of the soccer landscape makes him the ideal candidate for this role and I am excited to work alongside him to continue to build on the identity and culture we have set here at Forge FC."

The Hamilton-based franchise won the CPL championship in 2019, '20 and '22 and was runner-up to Pacific FC in 2021. Forge was the first CPL team to reach the Canadian Championship final in 2020 and the CONCACAF League semifinal in 2021, and became the first CPL team to compete in the CONCACAF Champions League in 2022.


This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 2, 2023.

The Canadian Press