Officially out of the fall season running with five games left to play, the Wanderers are aiming to finish the inaugural CPL campaign in style.
Having been roared on by the home fans in every Wanderers Grounds match, the players want to give the supporters something to cheer about in the remaining two home games, beginning with FC Edmonton on Saturday.
“It’s been truly an amazing experience for a first year team to sell out almost every single match. Our fans passion for the team is unbelievable,” said centre-back Matthew Arnone. “All we can do now is our best to get maximum points and we’ll do our best to make them proud.”
While there’s disappointment throughout the camp after the way the season has gone — especially away from the Wanderers Grounds — Arnone said the players feel lucky to be a part of something special in Halifax.
“We’re building the culture and identity of this club and we’re proud of the product on the field. We believe we can beat anybody and we’re going to go out there and show it for the next five games,” he said.
Coach Stephen Hart said the team’s first season has been a learning experience for everyone. But he admits it’s hard for him to understand how his team could be so hard to beat at home, yet struggled so much on the road.
At this point though, Hart said the players need to go into every match with the kind of ambition the fans demand.
“Your professional pride should always mean you be the best you can be and you are always playing for your job because you are playing to get selected, you are playing to stay on the team and of course with the season coming to an end, everybody is playing for renewal of contract,” Hart said.
Since a hard fought nil-nil draw here in Halifax, Saturday’s visitors FC Edmonton have lost three consecutive games.
Nonetheless, Wanderers midfielder Andre Rampersad rates them as a good footballing team, although he says the players are focusing only on their own game plan.
“The pressure is off the shoulders of the players and I think everyone will be more free on the pitch,” said Rampersad. “These two home games are all about having fun, putting on a show for the fans. They deserve it because almost every game they sell out at the stadium and give us an extra boost.”
Saturday’s match is a special one for our club as it’s Canadian Armed Forces appreciation day.
It’s our way of saying thank you to the men and women who serve our country and spend huge amounts of time away from their families.
The Halifax & Region Military Family Resource Centre will be taking donations to go towards it’s programming to more than 12,000 regular and reserve force members as well as veterans and their families.
The organization also serves central and northern Nova Scotia.
Look out for their tent that will be at the Grounds and say hello.
While you’re there, enter the raffle to go into the draw for prizes including a Wanderers signed jersey — and if you can please bring change to make a donation.
We’re also welcoming the Stadacona Band of the Royal Canadian Navy who will be performing O Canada before the match.
And for a special half-time show, the Nova Scotia Highlanders Pipes and Drums (Army) and the 12 Wing Pipes and Drums (Air Force) will be coming together for a performance.
Kick-off is at 2 p.m. so get to the stadium early again to take advantage of our $5 drink deals. 14 oz pours of craft beer are on tap for $5 again, as well as $5 mixed drinks.
Those drink deals are available between 1 p.m. and 1:45 p.m inside the Grounds.
Join the Wanderers fans to arrive in style at the March to the Match which will get going around 1 p.m. at Rogers Square.
With our last home match against Pacific on a Wednesday night, it’s our last march this season, so try to check it out, fill our downtown partner pubs beforehand and then make some noise as you march.