1976 NSL Second Division
Clubs and players
Stadium: Lackwanna Stadium
Head coach: Vincent Lauricella
Key players: defender John Priest, forwards Brian “Bud” Lewis and Emanuel Kulu.
Buffalo Blazers paid $5,000 to join the second division of the league.
Many of the Blazers’ home games were shown live on International Cable channel 10.
Key players: Frank Donlavey, Frank Riga, Danny Lourie, Ray Trevisan
After their relegation from the first division in 1975 Italo-Canadians earned promotion in the 1976 season, by winning the second division championship.
Stadium: Mooney’s Bay, Ottawa
Head coach: Sandro Rausa
The Tigers had a total team budget of $70,000. $40,000 of the budget was used to import player. The club imported Haitian goalkeeper Paul Jacques; centre back Mick Jones who had played for Derby County, Notts County and Peterborough; midfielder Paul Walker, formerly of Wolverhampton Wanderers; Haitian winger Jean-Robert Lacossade; and former Fulham-forward Barry Friend. After the season Barry Friend joined Wimbledon and helped them earn promtoion to the Football League. Walker joined Huddersfield Town.
Key players: Andy Horba, Rick Lowther and Steve Hudson
St. Catharines Heidelberg
Stadium: Queen’s Athletic Field, Sudbury
Newly-formed Sudbury Cyclones also joined the second division. Veteran Ferruccio Deni was among the team’s key players.
Key players: Ivan Mrsic, Alan Harvey, Derek Stanton, Nick Repic
Oakville United changed their name to the Toronto Falcons prior to the season.
Review of the season
Hamilton Italo-Canadians went through a 15 game winning streak to win the second division championship.
Results and standings
Leading goalscorers (as of August 9, 1976)
1. Emanuel Kulu (Buffalo Blazers) 10 goals
October 6, 1976 at Hamilton
Hamilton Croatia 2 (David Dodds 2)
Toronto Croatia 2 (Ivan Mrsic, Derek Stanton)
October 10, 1976 at Toronto
Toronto Croatia 1 (Alan Harvey)
Hamilton Croatia 0