Wanderers Host U23 ID Camp

The hard work continues into the off-season for Halifax Wanderers as this weekend they are hosting a behind-closed-doors, invitational ID camp for male players aged under 23 (born 2000 or later).

“The majority of the players joining us this weekend are from Atlantic Canada or have moved to the region for their university studies”, explained Wanderers Sporting Director Matt Fegan. “We arranged it close to the end of the AUS (U SPORTS) season to give our coaching staff the best chance to see these players together at a time when they’re relatively fit.”

The ID camp, which will include approximately 36 players, is part of the Wanderers’ football development plan for the region, which will focus on the 17-23 year old age bracket.

“COVID border restrictions delayed our efforts to focus on this aspect of our development plan” explained Fegan. “However we are confident we can now press ahead with our plans for a series of U23 games, hosted in Maritime cities, in the Summer of 2022. We’re in discussions with several international clubs about hosting their U20-U23 squads next June to August in the Maritimes.”

Jacob Shaffelburg from Annapolis Valley, NS, celebrates after scoring in the 2018 Wanderers Selects match. (Trevor MacMillan)
Jacob Shaffelburg from Annapolis Valley, NS, celebrates after scoring in the 2018 Wanderers Selects match. (Trevor MacMillan)

Head Coach and Technical Director Stephen Hart also sees the gathering as a chance to take a closer look at some U21 talent who are expected to be in next season’s CPL-U SPORTS draft, planned for January 2022.

“The format for this weekend will allow players to express themselves in a few games over 2 days,” explained Hart. “We’ve seen what they can do with their schools or local teams so this is a chance for them to show their talents in and around quality peers so we can begin to formalize our squad plans for next summer. This is the first gathering and we plan to have more in early 2022 to look at any other talent in consideration who were unavailable to join this weekend.”

As plans continue towards Summer 2022, Wanderers will announce opposition, locations and dates for the games as well as players and coaching staff who will represent the region in the coming months.

“The key here is we are providing a new pathway for the continued development of U23 players in the region,” explained Hart. “If we can establish this squad as a regular gathering we want to entice the best players who also study here to remain in the area for the summer and compete in these games. We also see it as a tremendous opportunity to help with the development of coaches in Atlantic Canada by competing against high calibre opposition from outside the region.”