The Wanderers have strengthened the club’s attacking options by signing the former Canadian collegiate player of the year Ibrahima Sanoh.
The 25-year-old is the all time record scorer for Holland Hurricanes College team in Prince Edward Island, where he amassed 101 goals in 70 games.
During his four year spell there, the 6 ft. 2 in. striker was named the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association player of the year once and the Atlantic Collegiate Athletic Association player of the year four times.
“It’s really special, it’s a dream come true because it was always my dream to play professional soccer,” Sanoh said.
Born in Guinea, Sanoh moved to Canada to further his education in 2011, first studying and playing at the University of Prince Edward Island, before his time at Holland College.
Better known as ‘Ibra’, the player’s move represents a return to Halifax. He starred in the 2018 exhibition match for Stephen Hart’s Atlantic Selects team against German U 21 side Fortuna Düsseldorf, before the CPL had even started .
“I scored the goal to equalize in the match. We were losing 1-0, so that feeling with the crowd was really something,” Sanoh recalls.
The Wanderers are pleased to have been able to sign the forward, who is well known throughout the Maritimes and colleges across the country for his ability to find the back of the net.
“He showed enough in the game against Düsseldorf that he can compete at a higher level and we’ve been talking to him ever since that game while we waited for him to get his Canadian permanent residence,” explained Wanderers VP of Football Operations Matt Fegan.
Now a permanent resident, Sanoh will count as a domestic player in the CPL.
“He offers us a different option in the squad because unlike Akeem Garcia, he’s a bigger player who is a bit more of a target player that we will able to play through and he’s also a proven goalscorer and we all know we lacked goals last year,” said Fegan.
Sanoh’s coach at Holland College, Jonathan Vos, is also happy to see his former player getting a chance at the professional level.
“He is very exciting to watch and the biggest thing about his goals record is his consistency, it was not a matter of just scoring against weaker teams, so he will have something to contribute,” said Vos.
Having played in front of the Wanderers Grounds crowd once before, Sanoh is looking forward to being back.
“I’m feeling a bit nervous but I’m excited to show what I’ve got and why the fans are coming and paying money to see us play so I want to give back,” Sanoh said.
The big forward is the latest in a number of signings as the Wanderers continue to build towards the 2020 Canadian Premier League season.
He joins already announced players, goalkeeper Christian Oxner, leading goalscorer Akeem Garcia, midfielders Andre Rampersad, Scott Firth, Omar Kreim and Aboubacar Sissoko as well as defender Alex De Carolis.
University prospects Cory Bent and Jake Ruby will also fight for spots in Stephen Hart’s squad during training camp which gets underway in March.