York9 FC bolstered its attacking options on Monday with the signing of Canadian prospect Ijah Halley to a multi-year deal.
An 18-year-old native of Brampton, Ont., Halley spent the last few seasons in the Toronto FC Academy system where he earned a reputation as a dangerous forward who can also play on the right side of the attack.
“Ijah is a player that we feel has great potential and the fact he has been signed to a contract with a multi-year guarantee and club options beyond that is a real show of the faith we have in him.
“Although he has previously played further forward, Ijah gives us tremendous versatility down the right side and he could very easily play the role of a modern wing back. With him being with us for multiple seasons, it allows him time for development and finding his best position.”
Halley joins midfielder Max Ferrari as the latest promising youngster from the local region to have joined the Nine Stripes during this off-season.
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“Jimmy Brennan and Paul Stalteri have a great pulse on young talent in the GTA and York Region. Ijah is someone we have discussed for a while and it’s a good move for him to take the step up into senior football.
“He’s told us that he wants to push his way into the team – this isn’t an apprenticeship for him. He wants to make life hard for Jimmy and compete for a spot in the team.”
The addition of Halley means York9 now has 22 players under contract for the 2020 CPL season, including 11 newcomers who signed with the club this off-season.
“The biggest thing I’m looking forward is that opportunity to play first team football. To be able to have that and still stay local is something super special for me and my family,” Halley said.
Y9 has completely revamped its core of forwards in the aftermath of the 2019 CPL season, signing Halley, Gabriel Vasconcelos and Jacó (Brazil), Adrián Ugarriza (Peru), and Nicholas Hamilton (Jamaica).