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Wanderers add height and grit to squad by signing Canadian defender

Three days before the Wanderers play their first ever home match in the CPL, the club have added depth to the defence with the signing of Matthew Arnone.

25-year-old Arnone was a key part of the dominant Vaughan Azzurri team that won the league and cup double last year in League1 Ontario.

The centre-back, from Woodbridge, Ontario spent the past five months training with Italian club Vis Artena in Rome, before being contacted by the Wanderers.

Matthew Arnone shown in full flight for Vaughan Azzurri. (Photo: Vaughan Azzurri)
Matthew Arnone shown in full flight for Vaughan Azzurri. (Photo: Vaughan Azzurri)

“It feels great it all happened so quickly but I’m happy to be here,” Arnone said. “I feel at home in Halifax already and it’s something special for the first day.”

Wanderers coach Stephen Hart said he has admired Arnone going back to his time with York University’s championship team.

He also had a spell with the North Carolina FC U-23 team.

“He has good versatility, he can play on the left side of central defence and is very good in the air and also he can play through the midfield,” said Hart.

Wanderers coach Stephen Hart sees Arnone as a physical player who has composure on the ball.
Wanderers coach Stephen Hart sees Arnone as a physical player who has composure on the ball.

Arnone, who with Italian heritage, dreamed of playing in Serie A as a kid, is thrilled to be signing his first professional contract in the new Canadian Premier League.

“The fact I can come back and play in my country, I’ve got goosebumps talking about it, its super super special for me and my family,” Arnone said.

Standing 6 ft. 2 in. tall, Arnone is a defender with a physical presence, but one who has also impressed Hart with his composure on the ball.

“I’m a technical player for a big guy and I like to let the ball do the work, I like to keep things simple and win balls and do the dirty work,” said the defender.

He’s signed for the Wanderers pending the completion of a medical.

Arnone has been enjoying the fans spirit by following social media and can’t wait to see a packed Wanderers Grounds for the club’s home opener Saturday.

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