1979 National Soccer League

League president: John Fisher

Annual general meeting

On Saturday March 3, 1979 the NSL held its annual meeting. London City owner Harry Gauss put forward a motion to remove representatives off all clubs that had not paid their dues. Seconded by John Santos of the First Portuguese, Gauss’ move succeeded and the representatives of almost half the clubs where shown out before the proceedings were begun.

Consequently all these clubs were given until April 3, 1979 to pay their dues. The clubs were Toronto Italia, Montreal Castors, Toronto Polonia, Buffalo Blazers, St. Catherines Heidelberg, Windsor Stars, Melita and Macedonia. Castors had already asked for a one-year leave of absence and St. Catharines Heidelberg had been granted the same. Due to the failure of these clubs to meet the given requirements, the league lost many of its franchises and had to drop its two-division format. Creating a huge gap between the best and poorest teams.

New clubs Detroit Besa, Vardar, Serbians and Toronto Canadians. Detroit Besa and Vardar joined the league from the Detroit Soccer League, but Vardar dropped out during the season.

Clubs and players

Bradford Marshlanders

Founded: 1976
Head coach: Dave Reid
Key players: Pasquale Amaro, Tommy Henderson, Jorge Planas De Calvi

The Marshlanders imported two players to give the team more experience.

Detroit Besa
Founded: 1974
Stadium: Keyworth Stadium, Hamtramck, Michigan
Head coach: Ninoslav Beristic

Originally awarded to a group called Detroit Spartans the new franchise in Detroit was given to Detroit Besa, a club backed by the Albanian community in Detroit.

The club was coached by former Yugoslavian professional player Ninoslav Beristic. Notable players were goalkeper Nandar Caszak, defender Gugdurai Nika and forward Martin Quni.

First Portuguese

Founded: September 23, 1956
Head coach: Benvindo Assis

Benvindo Assis Viola returned for his second season in charge of First Portuguese.

Notable players included goalkeeper Tony Dallas; midfielders Rodney Desmeules and Armando Costa; forwards Hildeberto Ponte, Mike Ristich, Tito, Francisco Bolota and Jose Testas.

Hamilton Italo-Canadians
Stadium: Ivor Wynne Stadium, Hamilton

Carlos Delmonte took over as head coach of the Hamilton Italo-Canadians and led the team to a strong top-half finish.

Top players for the Italo-Canadians this season were goalkeeper Ardo Perri; midfielder Ivan Zanatta: forwards Louis Nagy, Mike Burke and Massimo Lanna.

After the season the club asked for a one year leave of absence and returned for the 1981 season as the Hamilton Steelers. Ivan Zanatta joined Sudbury Cyclones.

London City

Founded: February 14, 1973
Stadium: Cove Road Field, London, Ontario
President: Markus Gauss
General manager: Harry Gauss
Head Coach:
Key players: Jim McDonald

London City was captained by Jim McDonald. After the season he joined Cleveland Force of the Major Indoor Soccer League.

Montreal Stars
Head coach:
Key players:

Panhellenic Olympics

Founded: 1976
Head coach:
Key players:

St. Catharines Roma

Founded: 1967
Stadium: Roma Park, St. Catharines
Head coach: Ernesto Borges
Key players: Jim Douglas, Tony Novacic, Danny McIntosh

Tony Novacic was among the leading goalscorers in the NSL. Dan McIntosh broke his leg in a game against Sudbury Cyclones on Sunday May 27.

Sudbury Cyclones
Founded: 1976
Stadium: Queen’s Athletic Field, Sudbury
Owner: Wolf Mildenberger

Before the season started the Cyclones hired Peter Severinac as head coach. Severinac was a former player with local soccer teams, including Croatia Adria and the Cyclones.

Key players included goalkeepers Bill Shkrabek and Vic Pessot; defenders Renato Nicolucci and Frank Cristo; midfielders Andy Petrie, Rob MacTaggart and Ray Korkiala; forwards Cesare Pacitto, George Krauss, John Dagostino, Nick Dagostini, Bob Boettcher and Walt Michelutti. Ferrucio Deni again returned as a utility player.

Toronto Canadians
Head coach:
Key players: Goalkeepers Nihailo Georgief and Steve Gallop; Herbert Gallo, Kim Albrecht, Kire Cipostolovski

Also known as Toronto United.

Toronto Croatia

Founded: 1956
Head coach:
Key players: Goalkeeper Robert Scott; Darko Nosic

Toronto Falcons
Founded: 1975
Stadium: Lamport Stadium, Toronto
Head coach:
Key players:

Toronto Serbians
Head coach:
Key players:

Sport Association Ukraina

Founded: 1948
Head coach: M. Harapyn
Key players:

Review of the season

First Portuguese won the league championship.

After the season Detroit Besa returned to the Detroit Soccer League.

Hamilton Italo-Canadians asked for a one year leave of absence and returned for the 1981 season as the Hamilton Steelers.

Results and standings

The Sudbury Star newspaper
NASL Media Guide
Toronto Star newspaper archive