Cory Bent, HFX teammates holding each other accountable during off-season
Halifax Wanderers

You’ve seen HFX Wanderers FC forward Cory Bent travel from box-to-box during The Island Games.

Now he’s travelled out to Victoria, B.C. with Wanders teammate Peter Schaele to spend time with friends and to train during the off-season.

Earlier this month, the Wanderers announced that Bent will be returning to the club next season after a solid rookie campaign in 2020. contributor Dylan Lawrence chatted with the speedy forward to learn more about what he has been up to in Victoria.

RELATED READING: CPL off-season roster tracker – Who’s in and who’s out for 2021?

To get started, could you tell me how things have been since you left Halifax?

CB: It’s been really good, you know, after the bubble it’s been good to get some time away. We have a lot of friends out here, our friends from university are out here, so it’s been nice to come out here to see them. I’m not sure if I’m going to be able to go home or not, so that kind of sucks, but hopefully I’ll be back in Halifax for January.

What’s the living situation for you guys out in BC?

CB: Our friend Marcus has a house, so we took over one of the rooms here. We have three or four different friends here that have apartments that we can also stay at, so I’ve been bouncing around but mainly living in the same house as Peter (Schaale).

I know something that really annoys you is losing individual socks. Has there been any of that?

CB: A lot (laughs). A lot. Individual socks go missing all the time.

Do you guys even have a cat or dog there?

CB: No, they just go missing. [Clothes] come out of the laundry – out of the dryer – and all of a sudden I’ve got six odd socks somehow (laughs). It happens every single time I do the laundry.

You’ve also mentioned one of your hidden talents is music production. Have you had a chance to dip into that at all this off-season?

CB: Umm, yeah. I’ve been just playing around with it, really. I only really do it when I have some spare time. I mean, sometimes I feel like doing it and sometimes I don’t, but I can do it so it’s definitely a hidden talent that I have.

So would you say producing music is more of a hobby or something you’re looking to explore more in the future?

CB: Probably just a hobby. I’ve done it for a while before I came over here. It’s just nice because it’s something creative for me – I don’t do a lot of creative things apart from football – so that’s what I do to get away from that stuff sometimes.

Looking at yourself and Daniel Kinumbe, how would you say you compare to his musical talent?

CB: He’s way above me, and we’re not really in the same scene. He definitely has a flow and the whole team enjoyed his music this year. It was nice when he gave us a little performance in the bubble and that was class. But no, I’m nowhere near him, but it was nice to talk music with him.

Talking about teammates, have you stayed connected with your other teammates since the season ended?

CB: Yeah, I’m often in connection with players like Joao, Mateo, Akeem, Rampy, all the guys really. Just letting each other know how we’re doing and holding each other accountable, even from a distance. We know where we want to be next year as a team, and so we’re holding each other accountable. We all know what it’s going to take, so yeah we’ve been staying in touch.

Could you maybe talk about why it’s so important for a team culture to have that sense of accountability with each other?

CB: Well, when you hold each other accountable, it’s the feeling of not letting a teammate down that really drives you. When you go into a game and you look to your left and your right, and I know when I look to my left and my right that I’ve got people that’ll battle for me. So holding each other accountable really shows that we’re doing it for each other, and I think you were able to see that through the whole of The Island Games that if someone was down, there was a teammate there to lift them back up again. I think this year we created a culture of how we want to be as a team, and I think it showed on the pitch. People would’ve definitely seen the team that we are and probably make assumptions about how we are off the pitch because it shows while we’re on the pitch as well.

I think back to when you scored your first professional goal and you had that celebration. Is there a story behind that?

CB: It’s the superman celebration – it might have been Dwayne Wade. But I don’t know, our team had a couple of chants and it just kind of caught on, and it’s pretty much the only celebration I’ve done since. There’s a short video of me doing it against – I think Carleton – at the U SPORTS National Championships this year.


So as a wrap-up, looking ahead to 2021, what are you looking forward to the most?

CB: I’m really looking forward to playing on grass, especially at the Wanderers Grounds. I haven’t experienced it yet, but I’ve only heard good things. I’ve been at the Grounds for a game but I’ve never been on the pitch with the fans there – I think if you ask anyone that question, what they’re looking forward to is just playing in front of the fans.

And what does that mean for you as a player, without playing at the Grounds yet, still having that support from the fanbase here in Halifax?

CB: Well it was massive. We didn’t travel too far to PEI; Peter and I have been around the East Coast for a while. We’ve played on that pitch before, so it didn’t really feel ‘away’ for us, but to have that support every single game, it really drives you as a player to not let the fans down, or not give them a performance that those fans deserve. Every time we play they give us their everything too; you know, it’s not just them giving 50 per cent and we’re giving 50 per cent, it’s both parties giving their 100 per cent for the club. It’s an amazing thing to have that kind of support all the time.