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Wanderers step up attacking options with Canadian striker signing

The Wanderers have strengthened their forward line ahead of the Canadian Premier League’s kick-off with the signing of striker Tomasz Skublak.

The 21-year-old Canadian is signing his first pro contract with the Wanderers after emerging as a top-drawer performer in the NCAA, for the University of South Florida.

Skublak, who is from Hamilton and stands 6 ft. 2 in., led the South Florida Bulls in scoring last season firing eight goals, including four game winners.

“I’m definitely excited, this is what I’ve always wanted through my youth, to play at the pro level,” Skublak said. “Now I want to improve myself and the team.”

Skublak was top scorer for the South Florida Bulls last season with eight goals. Photo: USF Athletics.
Skublak was top scorer for the South Florida Bulls last season with eight goals. Photo: USF Athletics.

As with a number of other signings, Wanderers head coach Stephen Hart was alerted to Skublak through a couple of long time contacts in the game.

He liked what he saw in the player straight away, especially his ability in the box.

“He’s a centre-forward who is different to the ones we have. I would call him an in the box type of predator and very good in the air,” Hart said.

While he prides himself on his hold up play, Skublak is also comfortable dropping deep to get on the ball and create, Hart noted.

Prior to his two seasons in Florida, the forward played for the University of Guelph and was also a part of League1 Ontario’s Vaughan Azzurri.

Stephen Hart sees Skublak as a player who gets on the end of things in the box. Photo: USF Athletics.
Stephen Hart sees Skublak as a player who gets on the end of things in the box. Photo: USF Athletics.

While it’s going to be a step up moving to the new Canadian Premier League, Hart is confident his new player can be an attacking threat.

“He does have the quality in terms of goal scoring. When he was in the NCAA, he was identified for an MLS combine but had an injury at the time,” Hart said.

Skublak, who is already with the Wanderers preseason camp in the Dominican Republic, is the 22nd player to sign with the team.

“I think that completes things, we have four options in striking positions, and options out wide, so I think we are well balanced,” said Hart.

Training camp continues in the Dominican Republic until April 16 when the squad return to Halifax to make final preparations for the season.

Skublak is thrilled to sign his first contract as a professional with the Wanderers.
Skublak is thrilled to sign his first contract as a professional with the Wanderers.

“I’m really looking forward to getting going and seeing soccer at a different level,” Skublak said.

The Wanderers begin the new CPL campaign in Victoria against Pacific FC April 28, before returning to the Wanderers Grounds for the big home opener May 4.