The Canadian Premier League is just a few weeks away from kicking off. So it’s about time The Mastermind Site kicks off its #CANPL Team Guides, starting with the newly formed Halifax Wanderers FC. The Wanderers have quickly become the biggest soccer club in the East Coast and it appears as though there is no better time to be a soccer fan in Halifax. Here is The Mastermind’s official team guide for HFX Wanderers FC.
Halifax Wanderers are one of the few teams in the newly formed CPL to be an entirely new club. The club was officially unveiled in May of last year under the leadership of Derek Martin, becoming the third team to join the league at the time. The club announced a few months later that they would be playing their games at Wanderers Grounds, whicis set to have a capacity of around 6,500 spectators.
The crest of the club was created by Canadian graphic designer Mark Guilherme based on consultation and feedback from meetings with supporters, Halifax city leaders and local residents. Their official club colours are navy, grey, and a sort of “harbour blue.”
Here is the official roster for the Halifax Wanderers, with links to their twitter profiles to keep the conversation going all season long and continue to raise awareness on Canada’s first ever top flight league. Numbers and player additions will be added as they come in!
|4||Defender||Chakib Hocine||@HocineChakib |
|5||Defender||Alex de Carolis||@AlexDeCarolis|
|9||Forward||Luis Alberto Perea|
|10||Midfielder||Juan Diego Gutiérrez||@jdiegoguti|
|50||Goalkeeper||Christian Oxner||@ChristianOxner |
|—||Defender||André Bona||@lildrew_8 |
|—||Defender||Peter Schaale||@PeterSchaale |
STAFFEmbed from Getty Images
|Head Coach||Stephen Hart||@WatchfulEye64|
|Assistant Coach||Derek King|
|Assistant Coach||Michael Hunter|
|Head Scout||Victor Mendes|
MANAGER: STEVEN HART
Stephen Hart comes into the inaugural CPL season as arguably the most experienced manager in the league. Hart has the unique distinction of having coached Canada’s National Soccer team from 2009-2012 and worked for the national team in a variety of roles from 1997 up until he took on the head coaching role. Following his resignation from the national team in October 2012, Stephen Hart returned to the place of his birth, Trinidad & Tobago. He coached Trinidad’s Men’s National Team from 2013-2016, having a reasonably successful spell in charge. He now returns to Canada to take on the massive task of helping Halifax Wanderers FC succeed in their first ever season in existence.
PREDICTED STARTING LINEUP
One of the most challenging things about picking a starting 11 for these newly formed Canadian Premier League teams is we virtually have no idea what formation they are going to play. Stephen Hart seemed to utilize both a 4-5-1 and 4-3-3 during his reign as Canada’s MNT team coach and this could easily be adapted into a 4-2-3-1 to suit the players that HFX have in their roster. The likes of Sukunda, Hocine, Luis Perea and Akeem Garcia look almost guaranteed to start, while other positions are still completely up for grabs. One key area of interest is at left-back where the speedy Ndzemdzela Langwa could easily steal a starting birth away from the more experienced Alex de Carolis. 21-year old Elliot Simmons has impressed since his arrival at the club and could be set to start alongside the more experienced Elton John, while varsity athlete Peter Schaale will look to partner Chakib Hocine in central defense after impressing for Cape Breton in the Fall.
KEY PLAYER: ZACHARY SUKUNDA
Zachary Sukunda comes into HFX Wanderers with a wealth of experience, despite just being 23-years of age. The 5’9 fullback spent a year in France with Auxerre’s youth academy, before coming back to Canada and spending four years in Montreal, first with the Montreal Impact, and then later making 45 appearances for FC Montreal. Sukunda has a reputation for being good on the ball and posessing quality in both attack and defense and as already mentioned appears to be practically a nailed-on starter in Hart’s starting eleven. He should prove to be a useful outlet down the right-hand side for Hart’s team and the fact that he was Halifax’s first ever signing indicates that he is likely to play a very important part in the club’s inaugural season.
PREDICTED FINISH: 4TH
Halifax have a strong coach in Stephen Hart and a couple of standout players, but they look a little bit light in comparison to some of the other rosters floating around the Canadian Premier League right now. Their defense is perhaps the biggest worry, although it does feature a few players like Sukunda and Hocine who bring a fair amount of experience. They look very strong in attack, particularly with Garcia, Gutierrez and Perea as a potential attacking trio but other teams in the league also look strong going forward. Overall Halifax should fare well in this inaugural campaign, but do not look like one of the more likely sides to win the league.
So there it is! The 2019 #CANPL Team Guide for Halifax Wanderers FC. What are your thoughts on this Halifax team? Leave a comment below to share your thoughts.
Make sure to check back soon for all the other #CANPL Team Guides and keep the conversation going on Twitter @themastermindsite. See you soon!