Montreal, June 19, 2024Isabèle Chevalier and Jean-François Crevier, co-founders of the Montreal franchise of the Northern Super League, Canada’s new professional women’s soccer league, are thrilled to announce that Annie Larouche has been appointed as the club’s President and Marinette Pichon as its Sporting Director.  

After having recently announced that the city would have its own team in the Northern Super League, due to kick off in spring 2025, the cofounders, two committed investors in the Quebec business community, are delighted to see the two women in these two key team positions.

“With their unwavering commitment, inspiring leadership and passion for the sport that they have been nurturing for some 30 years now, Annie Larouche and Marinette Pichon have both in their own way, made their mark on women’s sports in Quebec and around the world. Their dedication and many years of experience, along with their inspiring leadership have had a major impact on the sporting scene. We are thrilled that they will join us to write this page of history in women’s sport in Quebec, and contribute to the club’s vision of establishing itself as a model of innovation in Canadian soccer through active community involvement. They will help build a solid foundation for the personal and professional growth of the female athletes, while upholding the club’s values of courage, integrity and diversity,” they said.

Annie Larouche made sports history in Montreal by becoming one of the first female presidents of a professional sports organization, the Montreal Alliance. Before this appointment in 2023, she was the team’s Vice-President of Operations since its creation in 2021. Under her leadership, the Alliance achieved remarkable success, especially in terms of attendance and merchandising sales, and strengthened its position in the Quebec market. Previously, she devoted over 25 years to the Montreal Alouettes, where she held a variety of positions, including Executive Director of the Alouettes Foundation and Community Relations, as well as Director of the Alouettes Alumni Association. Throughout her career, she has strongly supported the inclusion and advancement of women in the sports industry. 

As President of Montreal’s Norther Super League club, Ms. Larouche will work with the group of owners and the Sporting Director to forge the team’s strategic vision. As well, she will oversee operations, personnel management, relationship development and revenue generation in order to guarantee the team’s success, both on and off the field. 

Ms. Larouche will gradually integrate her new position, after the end of the Alliance season (scheduled to end July 28) before devoting herself full-time to the soccer club. Her first steps in the organization will have been to participate in the selection of the club’s Sporting Director.

A legend in French sport, Marinette Pichon is one of the top soccer scorers in the history of French soccer, scoring a total of 300 goals during her career. In 2020, she held the record of  81 goals in 112 appearances with the French national team, men and women combined. She is the first Frenchwoman to have signed a professional contract in the United States, playing for the Philadelphia Charge in the Women’s United Soccer Association (WUSA). Her talent earned her the league’s Best Player award in 2002. After returning to France, she played for Juvisy before retiring in 2007. From 2013 to 2017, she was the General Manager of the FCF Juvisy Essonne (now the Paris FC), working with various international athletes and recruiting young players who played or are playing on the French national team.

Besides her achievements on the field, Ms. Pichon is also an advocate of women’s rights in sport. She received France’s Légion d’honneur in recognition of her contribution to soccer and the struggle for gender equality in sport. Based in Quebec since 2019, she has been actively involved in soccer in the greater Montreal area, holding various coaching and management positions. Until just recently, she was the General Manager of the LaSalle minor soccer association and also has been a guest analyst on several sports programs, both in Quebec and abroad. She is also a member of TVA Sports team of hosts for the European Football Championship 2024. Ms. Pichon’s  autobiography, Ne jamais rien lâcher, inspired a biographical film, Marinette, released in France in 2023. 

Ms. Pichon will lead the club’s athletic vision. This position ensures daily supervision of all the sports-related areas, including the coaching staff, team performance, talent scouting and recruiting, player acquisition and development, medical monitoring and performance, data and analysis, soccer operations, as well as regulatory compliance. Ms. Pichon is set to begin June 24.  

Last May, Montreal joined the Northern Super League’s founding teams alongside Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Ottawa and Halifax. Canada, the only country in the top 10 of FIFA’s women’s rankings without a professional league, is now aiming to create a world-class association. Diana Matheson, former Canadian professional soccer player, is behind the league’s creation.

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