How will our first signing fit into the Wanderers team? When will we hear about international player signings? And what do our new assistant coaches bring to the club? Our head coach Stephen Hart has the answers in this edition of The Hart of the Wanderers.
- You made Zachary Sukunda the Wanderers first ever signing. What kind of a player is he?
The first player we signed is very versatile. While his preferred position is full-back, he can also play in midfield. He’s also comfortable on the right and left side and I thought that was important for the team because it gives us so much options and variations in player use.
- His signing created quite a buzz around Halifax. What have you made of the way Zachary has been interacting with our fans through social media?
That is an added bonus. He has definitely showed he knows how to carry himself off the field and he is willing to be a big part of the Wanderers family and community.
- OK so we have one player confirmed. When do you expect to be able to make more player signings?
We hope to announce some young prospects in January. Bringing in promising young players is sticking with what we as a club believe we should stand for, which is to find some of the best young players and nurture them into the Wanderers way of playing. We hope they will go on to become the foundation for the future of the club.
- At a Wanderers member event Tuesday you hinted the club is close to announcing international player signings. What can you share with the fans about that?
We do anticipate we will have four internationals signed in the new year and these players will bring some important qualities to the club. Two of them bring international experience to the team. We’re also signing two younger players who are up-and-coming dynamic young prospects. These four players were carefully chosen. Once again three of them are extremely versatile and can play a number of positions comfortably. That’s going to be big with a small squad. The biggest challenge is how well they adapt to this new climate but from a playing perspective they can do the business.
- You announced the hiring of two assistant coaches who will work alongside you. What qualities will they bring to the Wanderers?
I’ve worked with both before. Michael Hunter is very analytical and qualified with the added experience of being a goalkeeping coach. He’ll also play a big part in player analysis. I worked with Derek King in Trinidad and Tobago at both the senior level and when he was head coach for youth team. His record speaks for itself, he’s coming off yet another league championship with FC Santa Rosa and that’s back to back championships with two different teams. He brings experience from an international and professional perspective as both a player and coach.
- What are your priorities for the New Year?
We are presently negotiating for another two or three internationals. It’s important that these are more position specific. We are also looking to continue signing Canadian prospects with a bit of experience. It’s exciting times as our squad will start to take shape.
Stephen Hart is the Head Coach and General Manager of HFX Wanderers FC
You can follow him on twitter @WatchfulEye64