FC Edmonton announced late on Friday that GM Mel Kowalchuk has resigned his position with the club. The press release stated that he resigned his position with the team in order to pursue other opportunities. The GM position won’t be filled immediately and owner Tom Fath will take over the role until a replacement is found.
According to one source Kowalchuk resigned his position Friday morning just before the club left for preseason training in Casa Grande, Arizona at Grande Sports World.
“The decision, obviously, was not an easy one,” Kowalchuk said in the FC Edmonton press statement. “From belief in the organization, where it’s going under the ownership of Tom and Dave Fath and the current staff, success is definitely on the horizon.”
While the press release praised Kowalchuk for his work in helping to start the team, the timing of the announcement cannot be seen as encouraging. Last December head coach Dwight Lodeweges and his assistant, Hans Schrijver, used clauses in their contracts to leave FC Edmonton to take coaching positions for second division Japanese team, JEF United. Dutch coach Harry Sinkgraven was brought in to fill the gap. With the latest announcement the team has lost both their high profile coaches and their general manager in the course of just over 3 months, and 5 weeks before their inaugural NASL season kickoff.
Kowalchuk has worked in both the US and Canada with minor league baseball and soccer teams. He has been involved with pro sports for nearly 28 years, working as the president and GM of the CSL’s Edmonton Brickmen and NPSL Edmonton Drillers. He served as CSL president while operating the Brickmen. He also worked for the Chicago Power indoor soccer team. He will continue to serve as president of the Canadian Major Indoor Soccer League, a position he has held concurrently while working as GM of FC Edmonton.