1971 National Soccer League

League president: Ian Dickson replaced by Joe Piccininni
League secretary: Ivan Habus

Annual general meeting

St. Catharines Heidelberg joined the league. Ottawa Sons of Italy changed their name to Ottawa Tigers.

Clubs and players

First Portuguese


Founded: September 23, 1956
Stadium: Stanley Park, Toronto
Head Coach:
Key players:

First Portuguese had a $60,000 budget.

Hamilton Apollos
Formed:
Head Coach:
Key players:

Hamilton Croatia


Founded: 1957
Head Coach:
Key players:

Hamilton Croatia were led by the Sinclair brothers, Jim and Malcolm.

Hellas
Formed:
Head Coach:
Key players:

Kitchener Concordia Kickers


Founded: 1873
Head Coach:
Key players:

London German-Canadian Football Club


Founded: 1934
Head Coach:
Key players:

Olympia
Formed:
Head Coach:
Key players: Lutz Wolanski, John McGurk

Ottawa Tigers
Founded: 1965
Stadium: St. Joseph’s High School Field, Ottawa

Ottawa Sons of Italy changed their name to Ottawa Tigers. The Tigers started the season by losing their first 11 matches.

St. Catharines Heidelberg


Founded: 1952
Head Coach:
Key players: Jim Douglas

Serbian White Eagles


Founded: 1968
Owner:
Head Coach:
Key players:

Sudbury City
Formed:
Head Coach:
Key players: Ferruccio Deni, George Courtney and Leon Carinci

Toronto Croatia


Founded: 1956
Owner:
Head Coach: Oskar Jazbinsek
Key players:

Toronto Croatia had a $80,000 budget. They hired former Croatian international player Oskar Jazbinsek as their head coach.

Toronto Hungaria
Formed:
Head Coach:
Key players:

Sport Association Ukraina


Founded: May 16, 1948
Player coach: Leo Dowhaluk
Key players:

Review of the season

In the NSL opening game Toronto Croatia beat First Portuguese 2-0 on May 2 in front of 6,000 fans at Stanley Park.

Ottawa Tigers started the season by losing their first 11 matches.

League president Ian Dickson had to resign due to medical advice in July 1971. Dickson had suffered his second heart attack a month earlier. He had been league president for four years. 

Toronto Croatia won the league and playoff championship.

Total attendance at Stanley Park for the whole season was 145,000. Up 15,000 from the previous season.

Results and standings

Final league table         GP W  L  T  GF GA Pts
Toronto Croatia            26 22  1  3 58 14  47
First Portuguese           26 17  5  4 45 19  38
Hamilton Croatia           26 14  7  5 38 31  33  
Toronto Ukraina            26 14  9  3 47 28  31
Sudbury City               26 14  9  3 55 34  31 
Olympia                    26 11 10  5 49 40  27 
London German-Canadians    26 12 12  2 57 54  26
St. Catharines Heidelberg  26 11 12  3 42 42  25
Serbian White Eagles       26  9 12  5 37 39  23
Hellas                     26 10 13  3 36 41  23 
Hungaria                   26 11 14  1 40 52  23
Ottawa                     26 ??   
Hamilton Apollos           26  3 18  5 23 69  11
Kitchener Kickers          26  2 18  6 31 65  10 

Leading goalscorer:
1. Ferruccio Deni (Sudbury City)

Leading goalkeeper:
1. Zeljko Bilecki (Toronto Croatia)

Play-off final
October 11, 1971 at Stanley Park
Attendance: 7,000
Toronto Croatia 1 (Bruno Pilas)
First Portuguese 0

Export Cup – Canadian Open Championship
October 17, 1971 Toronto
Attendance: 4,373
Toronto Croatia 3 (Bruno Pilas, Alija Solak, Marijan Bradvic)
Vancouver Eintracht 0