It’s been a season of firsts for Wanderers striker Ibra Sanoh.
His first professional match came at the Island Games, as well as his first goal, both against Pacific FC.
Now he’s living what he’s worked for his whole life, he’s remembering those who helped him get to this point.
The big number 9 is back on Prince Edward Island where it all started after he moved to Canada nine years ago.
And the place he’ll always remember is Purity Dairy in Charlottetown, where he worked for a couple of years.
“It was physical work. Muscle work for sure,” he recalls. “I moved a lot of milk.”
It was after he returned from trials for TFC Sanoh took a job with Purity, a family business that processes and distributes milk to grocery stores on the Island.
Working as a merchandiser, it was his job to get milk on the shelves.
“We were glad to have him because he was a reliable fellow and did a great job,” said General Manager Tom Cullen.
After moving to PEI from Guinea, Sanoh was keen to apply for Permanent Residency in Canada so he could stay and chase his football dream.
“I went and met the immigration person who was helping me out and she said the only way I could get this was through my work, so I asked Purity to sponsor me and they were really open minded to the idea,” Sanoh explained.
Purity had never dealt with such a request before but had no hesitation in offering to help their new employee.
“We were happy to help him do that because I feel like a person like Ibra has a great future and can help build a better Canada,” Cullen said. “We sponsored him as a company and had to register with immigration PEI and they have strict procedures but we were able to do that and it worked out well.”
The Wanderers have been proud to team up with the Dairy Farmers of Prince Edward Island, who are the club’s presenting partner of the Island Games.
In November it will be one year since Sanoh got his permanent residency which played a part in him earning his first CPL contract.
Now counting as a domestic player it led to him signing with the Wanderers without the need for additional permits and paperwork.
“I’m really grateful, they are really good people. They welcomed me and they took care of me and gave me opportunity,” said Sanoh. “I stopped working for Purity last December because I needed to start getting ready for the season after I signed for the Wanderers. I told Tom and he was happy because he knew my dream was coming true.”
Cullen has been beyond happy to see Sanoh’s career take off.
“It was great that he was able to score a goal in the first game on a penalty kick so that was pretty neat to see and he’s such a polite person and really dependable so those are all strong qualities.”