“The only way to win is with GTA players,” said Craney. “While it won’t be easy, my job is to build credibility, a successful program, win the battle of recruiting and own the best (graduating high school) players in this area.”
“Some of the top players in Canada came out of the Greater Toronto Area and it’s time to put pride back in the program and have York become Toronto’s team. We need to build, build fast.”
I would certainly hope some of the top players come out of the GTA...it's only several million people after all. The AD Jennifer Myers is also quoted about the GTA recruiting angle, so I guess they are legitimately hoping to make a difference there. (Couldn't hurt to have both U of T and York be successful, actually, if only to stop the annual jokes from the drive-by media.)
Speaking anecdotally, the two quarterbacks in the last Vanier Cup were from the Toronto suburbs, but if you go down the rest of that Dinos roster, there's a lot of Calgary and Airdrie in the "Hometown" column, and already a lot of Toronto/Mississauga/Brampton on the 2009 York roster. All else being equal, a team that can't draw out-of-province players will be farther behind those that do, so maybe Craney just wants to get York back to being competitive for high schoolers in the 416 and 905 and then he can branch out to, oh, let's say the 514. West Island especially.
Nothing says he can't do it, though. Craney's ten years at Concordia and his experience at Vanier College (among other places) do speak well for his coaching and recruiting-from-anglophone-Quebec bonafides. It's described as a heavy loss for Con U. In the last few years, you just couldn't run against the Stingers. (The same was not true for recent vintages of the York Lions, and Craney's first order of business should be to address their awful defense right fast.)
It's been a couple of dreadful years for York as they've descended further in the OUA. As you no doubt recall, the last coach was fired for reasons related to "a lack of communication [and] accountability" and other damaging issues.
One hopes, for the school's sake, that the slope is now positive.
York Lions pick winner in new head coach Warren Craney (David Grossman, Toronto Star)