Canada restart hunt for new GS after Walker drops out on first day

January 23 – Alyson Walker quit as the new general secretary of the Canadian Soccer Association on Monday, the day she was to start in the position.

Walker was appointed last month and was set to be the first woman to hold down the top staff position at the governing body of Canadian football.

“After careful consideration and conversation with my family, I have decided for personal reasons, to take some time away and will not step into the role of general secretary at Canada Soccer,” Walker said in a statement released by the federation.

Walker had been chief commercial officer at OverActive Media, a Toronto-based esports organization, after prior stints at Bell Media and Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment. She also worked closely with Canada Soccer during the London 2012 Olympic Games.

“Our thoughts are with Alyson as she deals with an unforeseen personal matter that sadly precludes her from taking on the role of general secretary,” federation president Charmaine Crooks said in a statement.

“While we were all looking forward to having her lead Canada Soccer, we fully understand, and deeply respect her request for privacy.”

Former Canada captain Jason de Vos served as interim general secretary job after Earl Cochrane quit in April. But he too left the federation to become an assistant to new Toronto coach John Herdman, who had been men’s national team coach.

Canada Soccer, which remains locked in a labour dispute with the men’s and women’s national teams, said last month that over 200 candidates were identified throughout a four-month search process that led to Walker’s hiring.

The renewed search for a General Secretary will include the qualified pool of candidates that were already interviewed and vetted, according to Canada Soccer.

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