Halifax Wanderers add Alejandro Dorado to Coaching Staff

The Halifax Wanderers Football Club is pleased to announce the appointment of Alejandro (Alex) Dorado as First Team Assistant Coach to Stephen Hart.

Dorado, who hails from Madrid, Spain boasts an impressive coaching resume, most recently serving as Assistant Coach to Rafa Benitez at Dalian PRO in the Chinese Super League. He began his coaching career as a youth coach for the Spanish Football Federation (2010-2012) before joining Real Madrid as an Academy Head Coach for six years. In 2018, Dorado enjoyed his first coaching appointment overseas with FC Honka in Finland before joining Benitez’s staff in China through to May 2021.

“We’re extremely pleased to welcome Alejandro to Halifax,” says Head Coach Stephen Hart. “Alejandro impressed us throughout his interviews with his knowledge of the game as well as the thoroughness of his research of the team, the club and the city. We share a common vision for our club development and a belief in how football should be played on the front foot.”

Alejandro Dorado at Real Madrid's training facility in Madrid, Spain.
Alejandro Dorado, in the Real Madrid sports city. (FdV)

In addition to his coaching pedigree, Dorado holds a series of excellent qualifications. He has earned a UEFA PRO license and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Sports Science as well as several Masters Degrees in Player Identification and Development, Sports Psychology, Big Data/Analytics and High Performance and Periodization Training. As a fun fact for our Wanderers fans, Dorado was introduced to the club by his agent and former Halifax player Alex De Carolis, who has launched his own successful agency based in Europe.

“Alejandro’s resume speaks for itself – he’s an astute tactician with a strong technical understanding of football,” explains Sporting Director Matt Fegan. “I think our ability to attract a coach of Alejandro’s calibre from overseas to the Wanderers speaks volumes to the growing stature of the Canadian Premier League and the Club we are building.

“After a thorough interview process with several candidates, we felt Alejandro was the ideal fit for Stephen, his staff and the players. He comes with a wealth of experience, despite still being a relatively young coach, and also speaks Spanish, English and Portuguese. Beyond working on the pitch with the current squad, Alejandro will also be a tremendous asset in helping our players prepare and optimize their performances through their work off the pitch. Alejandro’s extensive relationships throughout the global game will also help us attract quality players to Halifax.”

Dorado with his latest team Dalian Pro at the San Javier facilities.
Dorado with his latest team Dalian Pro at the San Javier facilities.

The Wanderers are also very pleased to confirm Assistant Coach Mesut Mert will transition to a new role with the Club’s planned U23 program. Mert served as First Team Assistant Coach to Stephen Hart for two seasons while balancing his role as Head Coach of the Saint Mary’s Huskies in Atlantic University Sport.

“Mesut has contributed greatly to our ongoing development at Wanderers,” says Hart who also serves as the Technical Director for Halifax Wanderers. “We respect that he wants to continue his role with SMU and wanted to ensure we found a suitable role for him to remain within the Club. He has a proven track record of developing some of the best players in Atlantic Canada as a Coach and I have no doubt he’ll give us the perfect foundation to grow our U23 program this summer.”

In 2021, the Wanderers announced a plan to launch a U23 team, designed to improve the pipeline of the region’s best talent into the First Team. After icing the plans due to COVID border restrictions last Summer, Wanderers held their first U23 ID camp in November 2021 and are committed to delivering the program in the summer of 2022.”

“We’re pressing ahead with our plans to launch our U23 team this summer,” explains Fegan. “We held a successful ID camp late last year and will hold our next one in February. The team will launch as a Select Squad, playing a series of exhibitions against top opposition from outside the region this summer. We are having some very interesting conversations and will have more to announce soon.”

The club will provide an update on our new player and coach additions for the 2022 season  every Wednesday throughout the months of January and February as part of our popular ‘Wanderers Wednesday’ series.