Halifax Wanderers FC and Soccer Nova Scotia are very proud to announce the continued evolution of our partnership with the aim of enhancing the development opportunities for talented Nova Scotian soccer players and designed to work towards a common goal of growing the beautiful game in the province.
As of January 2021, the Halifax Wanderers Football Club will begin a training program for the province’s male players aged over 16 who have been identified for future consideration in the Wanderers system. This collaboration is the first part of Halifax Wanderers’ initiative to create player development opportunities for the professional game for young players in Atlantic Canada. Players included in this program will be considered for an under-23 Wanderers team expected to launch in Summer 2021 with a series of exhibition games against teams from outside the region.
“As a club, we have taken our time and asked the question, “Where can we have the biggest impact in terms of improving the player pathway and development here in Nova Scotia?“ stated Derek Martin, President & Founder of the HFX Wanderers. “What we learned is that the best place for us to start is in bridging the gap between existing U17 programs and the end goal of becoming a Wanderer.”
Players will remain with their local clubs for regular training and competition. The Wanderers youth training, provided at no charge and by invitation only, will allow Wanderers technical staff and players to work with the next generation of local talent to continue their development. The ultimate goal is to meet one of the Wanderers’ objectives to build a first team squad that includes a minimum of 6 homegrown players by 2026.
“The 18-23 year old age group has, for as long as I have been involved in the game, been the missing piece for opportunity in the Canadian player pathway to be identified,” said Stephen Hart, HFX Wanderers FC Head Coach. “Nova Scotia has the ability to produce professional players and I am excited to get to work with these talented young players.”
Soccer Nova Scotia has more than 20,000 players from all ages starting at entry level programs and continuing through senior levels.
“We’re very excited to partner with the HFX Wanderers and provide opportunities to our athletes after they have graduated from the U17 program,” said Brad Lawlor, the Executive Director of Soccer Nova Scotia. “We have identified this age group as a missing gap within our pathway and we’re excited to partner with the HFX Wanderers on this initiative. What we outlined above is a start as we will continue to look at best ways to grow the game in our region and develop our home grown players.”
With the Canadian Premier League expected to play in 2021 , the Wanderers and Soccer Nova Scotia are already working together to avoid scheduling conflicts as much as possible to allow Soccer Nova Scotia members and their families to attend games.