Guerino "Woody" Cimino might have a solution for soccer-starved fans in Sudbury.
True, Sudbury Regional Competitive Soccer League premier men's action from the 1980s and 1990s is not about to be mistaken for top-end European soccer, at its best. But the mix of having a chance to take a walk down memory lane and appreciate an era that was far different than today seems to have found its market niche.
"Channel 7 (now Eastlink) used to cover a bunch of our games; they had pretty much full coverage of our league," said Cimino, a 53 year old Sudbury native, who has been a familiar face on the local soccer scene for pretty much his entire life.
"I had some of the games on tape, Dan Palladino had some, Carlo (Castrechino) had some - and we had been talking about converting from VHS on to a computer format." What has ensued is a You Tube channel dubbed "Sudbury Soccer", home to some thirty or so encounters that date back almost thirty years.
"Once I got on this project, I went hard at it," admitted Cimino. "I Googled and watched You Tube videos about converting. There is a convertor that you can buy. It's actually pretty simple, and then you can save it on a USB. I'm not techie-techie, but I can pick up on things quickly."
"My biggest challenge was trying to get a VCR that worked properly," he laughed.
Beyond the full scale broadcast of start to finish contests, the channel also includes some home made recordings, including one with the late Eddie Palladino, a local star, as a player, in the 1950s and 1960s, introducing members of his youth competitive team, individually, in the genre of something that might be seen in the professional soccer ranks.
"I've been getting a really good response for guys from that generation," said Cimino. "With Covid, a lot of these guys who used to play have been watching these games with their kids."
As for Cimino, who suited up with a St Charles College team that claimed the city banner under coach Rob Gallo (still a university student at the time), this is certainly not about reliving his former glory.
"I would score some goals, but I wasn't like Carlo Castrechino, or anything like that," said Cimino, who continued to play until his early thirties in the men's circuit, before turning his attention to coaching, for a stretch.
"I never played university, or anything like that. Laurentian was very strong."
But in a city that has now been devoid of truly a competitive men's soccer league for a handful of years, the new offering reminds folks of what once was. "When we played, people would pay to watch us play," said Cimino. "Not much, though."
"But guys would schedule their work around soccer to get to all of your games. We would practice three times a week."
Thankfully, the net result of those practices is now readily accessible, for soccer loving fans in Sudbury, largely thanks to the efforts of Woody Cimino.