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NYA in the Community

  • Name: Miguel Ferreira 

  • Neighborhood: St Clair Ave W 

  • National Origin/Family From: Portugal 


Football brings people together and forms a community, all around the world. Here at North York Academy, we have our own special member of the community, Miguel, from Portugal, who moved to Canada at 17 years of age.


Although he was an aspiring footballer, he couldn’t realize his dreams of playing professionally. However, his son is now an athlete at NYA in the U-15 squad and has big dreams and talent of his own. 


Here’s what Miguel had to say about his football journey. 


1. You moved to Toronto from Portugal when you were quite young. What was that like, changing places and getting to know a new culture at such a young age? How long did it take for Toronto to feel like home?


I was 17 years old when I moved to Toronto, it was hard at the beginning because it was very different from Portugal. I didn't speak English so it was hard to make friends, and my parents wanted me to go to school but I preferred to work instead. It was easy to adapt since I had my family and it was a better start to life. 


2. How and when did you start playing soccer?


I started playing soccer when I was about 7 years old because I watched my favorite team play, FC Porto.


3. After playing as a kid, what was next for you?


As a kid, I dreamed of pursuing soccer professionally but I never had the opportunity to do so, like the teams we have now. This meant I had to start working young.


4. Do you have a favorite soccer memory?


My favorite memory was being a child, playing against a team in the Third Spanish Division in Portugal with family and friends in our village, of which I was the youngest. We lost more than 10-0 since we really weren't an established group, and the opposing team was well into their 20’s. This was a massive deal for our village.


5. What makes you most excited about having a team in North York that you support? 


The most exciting thing about supporting this team is watching my son make friends and have fun as well as have the opportunities I wished for as a kid while continuing to grow in his passion for soccer.


6. In a few words, what defines North York FC for you?


North York, to me, is defined as hope and passion, with countless opportunities.

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