Cavalry FC’s Daan Klomp wins 2023 Canadian Premier League Defender of the Year

Cavalry FC’s Daan Klomp was revealed as the Canadian Premier League’s 2023 Defender of the Year on Thursday.

The 25-year-old Dutch defender played every minute of the 2023 season for regular season-winning Cavalry FC, who allowed the fewest goals in the league this campaign, just 27 goals in 28 matches.

Defensively, Klomp finished in the top five in the league in blocks with 17,  possession won in the defensive third (87), aerial duel(51) and clearances (81) while winning an outstanding 78.95 per cent of his tackles.

“Klompy’s grown into the other side [of the game],” said Tommy Wheeldon Jr. earlier this season. “We’ve always known he’s a good passer, but he’s grown into a better defender, and I think as he matures you’ve seen the other side of him this season.”

The Canadian Premier League’s Defender of the Year award was one of two new awards introduced last season, with Forge FC’s Alexander Achinioti-Jönsson taking home the inaugural honour. It is awarded to the defender voted best at his position during the 2023 CPL regular season by media members.

Forge FC’s Manjrekar James and Halifax Wanderers’ Daniel Nimick, both of whom just completed their debut season in the league, were the other two nominees.

The Defender of the Year is awarded with the Walrus, a sculpture crafted by Inuit artist Ruben Komangapik. The Walrus is known as one of the ocean’s toughest creatures.