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Wanderers ‘feeling good’ about fall season home opener vs York9 FC

The Wanderers are hoping to set the tone for a spirited CPL fall season by starting well at home against York9 Saturday.

The team is buzzing to be launching the new campaign with a three game home stand in front of their fans in the sun on what’s going to be a gorgeous day at the Wanderers Grounds.

And the squad is also getting healthier as the new season begins.

After suffering a number of injuries to key players in the spring season, Stephen Hart has been boosted by the return of all 23 players to training this week.

Defensive leader Chakib Hocine is back in full training and pushing for a place in the squad after recovering from injury. Photo: Trevor MacMillan.
Defensive leader Chakib Hocine is back in full training and pushing for a place in the squad after recovering from injury. Photo: Trevor MacMillan.

Following a fourth place finish in the spring campaign, Hart and his players are determined to improve and fight for the fall title.

The winner of the fall season will qualify for a two legged home and away final showdown against spring title winners Cavalry for the first ever Canadian Premier League title.

“It’s very important to start well for us, for the team and the coach and the fans,” said centre-back Chakib Hocine, who is back in the fold and fit again. “I think we are ready to play now and the team is feeling good so that’s good for us and the team spirit is good.”

Hocine says the players are desperate to put on a good show for the home fans. Photo: Trevor MacMillan.
Hocine says the players are desperate to put on a good show for the home fans. Photo: Trevor MacMillan.

Coach Stephen Hart is hoping that playing in front of the home fans will be the ideal catalyst for his team as they hope to make an early mark in the fall season.

“We have to continue making our home our fortress, so to speak,” Hart said. “We are going to play 9 games in 31 days, so it’s going to require a full squad with rotation and those players coming in are going to have to be at their sharpest.”

There’s an intensity to training now everyone is back and fighting for a starting place.

Vincent Lamy is hoping the goals will start to come in the fall season. Photo: Trevor MacMillan.
Vincent Lamy is hoping the goals will start to come in the fall season. Photo: Trevor MacMillan.

Forward Vincent Lamy said the players want to show the fans they’re capable of taking a run at top spot.

“We know we have the quality because we beat good teams, so we are confident and we know we have to keep working,” Lamy said.

The young forward made a name for himself as a goal scorer at the academy level for Montreal Impact and he’s still hoping to add to that reputation for the Wanderers.

“I haven’t scored yet so when the first comes I hope I will continue to grow and hopefully it comes soon,” he said.

Lamy says the players believe they have what it takes to make a challenge for the fall season title. Photo: Trevor MacMillan.
Lamy says the players believe they have what it takes to make a challenge for the fall season title. Photo: Trevor MacMillan.

The Wanderers coach expects a tight game against York9 after both teams fought out draws in the spring season.

“They are technically good and their game is based on a lot of movement which makes it difficult to control and we have to be wary of them,” Hart noted.

After being a part of the Wanderers Grounds crowd while injured and watching from the sidelines, Hocine is itching to get out in front of the home fans himself.

“I watched the games and we have the best fans in the league and it’s amazing, so they need something very nice and we know we have their support and we want to give back to them,” Hocine said.

Now the summer weather is here, the fans are planning a big March to the Match, meeting in the pubs at 1:30 p.m. and then at Rogers Square for 3 p.m. to get in the Wanderers spirit.

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We’re also going to celebrate in the sun with a pre-match $5 for 45 minute special on 12 oz draught beer and Nova 7 wine from 3:30 p.m at the Grounds.

Tickets are still available at this link for the Wanderers against York9 which kicks off at 4:30 p.m. AST on Saturday.

You can also follow the match live one One Soccer.

Come on you Wanderers!