VANCOUVER — As the saying goes, Cape Breton centreback Peter Schaale “looks the part.”
And, thus, HFX Wanderers coach Stephen Hart selected the third-year German defender fifth overall in Monday’s CPL-U SPORTS Draft.
“If you look at his background he’s one of the few players who has experience playing at a high level overseas,” Hart said. “For me, that was a big indication he has some identified potential.”
Watching Schaale guide the Capers to a U SPORTS final convinced Hart to take a closer look at Schaale.
“He’s very athletic, but also reads the game very well,” Hart continued. “He’s very dominant in the air and seems very composed and clean on the ground with his passing and decision-making.
“Right away he has some physical and technical attributes, and seems to have a good understanding of the position.”
Hart added another defender to his prospects list with the 10th overall pick, choosing UQAM fifth-year defender Andre Bona.
“He did some very good things during the U SPORTS Championship,” Hart said, adding the Frenchman featured in multiple positions across the back four. “He fit in comfortably.”
After selecting a pair of international defenders through the first two rounds of Monday’s draft, Hart used his third and final pick to secure a local goalkeeper he’s followed from a young age.
With the 19th pick, HFX Wanderers selected fourth-year goalkeeper Christian Oxner out of Saint Mary’s.
“I’ve known Christan since he was a young boy in the provincial program in Nova Scotia,” Hart said. “He’s someone who absolutely loves goalkeeping; He’s fearless; He’s highly competitive.
“I know if he comes into a professional environment in a trials situation he’ll do everything he can to improve himself. He can only get better with that sort of attitude.”
In closing, Hart offered a word of advice for CPL-U SPORTS Draft picks as attention turns to roster building and preseason.
“You’re entering into real competition,” he finished. “You’re going to be in competition to get on the roster, to get in the starting lineup, to keep your place.
“This is not a situation where you get respect for the number of years you’ve been there. This is now the business of football and becoming a professional and understanding you really have to compete day in, day out.”