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Pacific FC captain returns as key player exodus hits national soccer champs

Top scorer Terran Campbell and league under-21 player of the year Alessandro Hojabrpour have left
Pacific FC captain Jamar Dixon lifts the trophy as the team celebrates its win in the Canadian Premier League championship game over two-time defending champion Hamilton. (Pacific FC/Facebook)

Pacific FC got some good news amid a stream of players leaving, with championship-lifting captain Jamar Dixon committing his future to the team.

Dixon, who led PFC to its first Canadian Premier League championship win this past season, signed for the Langford-based team in 2020, departing the Ottawa Fury.

Dixon is the first big resigning the team has announced during the offseason, amid a number of the team’s most talented players leaving the club.

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Both midfielder Alessandro Hojabrpour and star forward Terran Campbell, who was the club’s all-time record goal scorer (25) and record holder for most appearances (69), have left to Forge FC. PFC had beat the Hamilton team in the CPL final. It was Hojabrpour’s goal for Pacific that sealed victory over the two-time defending champion Forge in the CPL title game.

“It’s very normal in the soccer business,” said Rob Friend, chief executive officer of Pacific FC in an interview with Black Press Media. “At the end of the day, the club is here to provide a platform, not only for the team to win, but players to perform well and move onto bigger and better things.”

Friend said contract offers had been made to both Campbell and Hojabrpour but they decided to make the switch to Forge FC.

“It’s a bit disappointing, we were kind of expecting better moves for them to a higher league, but that’s the decision they made,” he added.

With players returning from injury and a couple of signings set to be announced in the next few months, Friend said he’s confident PFC can make a push to retain their title.

“People were shocked from the outside, but we’re happy with who we’ve got and who we’re bringing in,” he said.

Pacific FC also announced that several other squad members, including midfielders Victor Blasco — who has been with the club since its first game in 2019 — and Ollie Bassett, who made 20 appearances on the way to the team’s championship win, were leaving the club.

Friend said it was too early to say whether the players who have left would be involved when the victory parade comes to the town at the start of new season. But he said 85 per cent of last year’s squad will be returning this year.

Pacific FC will go into next season looking to defend their 2021 Canadian Premier League title. They’ll also be involved in CONCACAF League action, the second-tier continental competition involving teams from North America, with the schedule for those games set to come out in the next few months.


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