6 questions ahead of Valour FC’s 2024 season

The 2024 season, beginning April 13, will be the sixth year of competition in the Canadian Premier League. To celebrate its arrival, we at have been asking the same six questions for each of the eight teams playing in the league from coast to coast.
To check out our 6 questions breakdowns for all eight teams, click hereTo see all of our season preview coverage ahead of the sixth year of the CPL, click here.

What can we learn from Valour FC’s 2023 season?

It goes without saying that 2023 was not an easy year for Valour FC. They finished at the bottom of the league table, with the fewest points collected (26) and goals scored (25) in club history. What made matters even more frustrating, however, is the fact that for the most part Valour kept games close, but just couldn’t deliver decisive moments. Of their 28 matches in 2023, 16 ended in either a draw or a loss by a single goal.

A big issue was starting matches slow, as Valour scored just seven first-half goals in 28 matches last season. York United had the next fewest, with 15.

Most of the lessons learned will have to be undertaken by the coaching staff, as only seven players have returned to the side that finished at the bottom of the table last year. The club are hoping an incredible overhaul of the roster can spark a more competitive record in 2024, and ideally a first appearance in the CPL playoffs.

Valour FC Key Statistics

Who are three key players for Valour FC in 2024? 

MF – Dante Campbell

The 24-year-old midfielder joined Valour last year after multiple campaigns in the USL and instantly became one of the most reliable players for the Winnipeg side. Whether he was deployed as a central midfielder, or later as a right fullback due to injury issues, Campbell thrived. He led the league in interceptions last campaign, with 42, and had the same number of tackles won.

FW – Kian Williams

Capable of playing multiple positions across the front line, Williams’ versatility could be a key for Valour in 2024. The 23-year-old’s debut season in the CPL saw him tie for the Valour team lead in goals, with four, while adding an impressive five assists — which was among the best in the league.

FW – Shaan Hundal 

A longtime target of Dos Santos and Valour, Hundal will finally lead the line for the club again in 2024. The 24-year-old striker spent last season with Vancouver FC, tying for the club lead in goals with six. However, he did not score a goal during the second half of the season, largely coinciding with a move to a less natural right-wing position. Underperforming his expected goals output by 2.37, suggesting there could be even more to come from Hundal in 2024.

Valour FC’s Kian Williams at IG Field last season (Photo: Valour FC)

What does Valour FC’s 2024 schedule look like? 

Valour certainly have the most unique season in the league, as they play their first seven matches, and two months, of the season on the road due to the turf being replaced at Princess Auto Stadium (formerly IG Field). That includes their Canadian Championship opener, which will be played against Atlético Ottawa at TD Place Stadium on May 1.

The team will have to wait until Sunday, June 2 to play their home opener, in which they face Vancouver FC. As a result, they have an incredibly home-heavy second half of the season, including just two road matches in their final seven of the season. They also play four straight home matches in August, hosting Forge, York United, Halifax and Vancouver FC.

How did Valour approach the off-season?

Quite simply, by changing just about everything. Only eight players remain from Valour’s 2023 side, with seven of those players joining the club for 2024. With no player who appeared for the club in 2022 still on the Valour roster still with this club, so this is very much a new-look team heading into 2024.

Two of the biggest priorities were bringing in players with CPL experience as well as more attacking options. Valour signed seven players this off-season who have previously spent time in the league.

They also have a new-look attack, headlined by the return of Shaan Hundal, as well as 24-year-old Jordan Swibel, a prolific goalscorer from Australia, and former Pacific youngster Abdul Binate.

What are three key storylines heading into the season? 

Can Valour get back to winning ways at Princess Auto Stadium? 

For the majority of Phil Dos Santos’ time as Valour FC manager, Princess Auto Stadium has been one of the most difficult away venues in the league. In fact, between August 3, 2022 and July 1, 2023, the Winnipeg side went 13 straight matches without losing at home.

Something turned over the back half of last season, however, as Valour won just once, and lost the remaining seven, of their final eight home matches. Changing that in 2024 on the brand new turf at Princess Auto Stadium will be one of the biggest keys to Valour’s success in 2024.

Can Valour FC find backline consistency? 

After starting the 2023 season by allowing just seven goals through the first eight matches, one of the issues that quickly arose was injuries to the club’s backline. Jordan Haynes, Andrew Jean-Baptiste, Matteo de Brienne and Abdou Samaké all missed time in 2023, while Matthew Chandler suffered a season-ending ACL injury in just the second game of the year.

The hope this year is that a new-look, and more experienced overall, group can build more consistency in 2024. Signings like Jonathan Viscosi in goal, along with Roberto Alarcón, Haris Chantzopoulos, Tass Mourdoukoutas and Themi Antonoglou across the backline bring new profiles and quality to the Valour defence.

Who is the next young talent to emerge from Valour FC? 

One of the real success stories coming out of Valour in recent seasons has been the calibre of young talent the club has produced. The past two Best U-21 Canadian Players of the Year, Sean Rea and Matteo de Brienne, have been Valour players. The season prior, young goalkeeper Jonathan Sirois won the league’s Golden Glove award. Under the guidance of Dos Santos, who will emerge this season? Can 20-year-old midfielder Juan Pablo Sánchez, for example, take a big step forward after a solid season in which he made 21 appearances?

What are the keys to success for Valour FC in 2024?

Valour FC’s Dante Campbell (Photo: Valour FC)

In the very best case, this club could be to the 2024 CPL season what the Halifax Wanderers were last year. Halifax, who under new head coach Patrice Gheisar brought back just seven players from their 2022 squad, rode a club record 28 points at home to a 3rd place finish.

For Valour, many of the keys that led to Halifax’s 2023 success apply to them as well. Namely, being dominant at home, finding the back of the net with greater frequency and having an unfamiliar group gel quickly. If they can do that, they could be the biggest surprise in the league this coming season.