Halifax Wanderers FC has announced the signing of domestic full-backs Zachary Fernandez and Obeng Tabi for the 2022 CPL season.
Fernandez, a 20-year-old right-back from Blainville, Quebec, joins having spent last season at AS Blainville in PLSQ where he played against the Wanderers in the August 2021 Canadian Championship clash.
Tabi is a 21-year-old left back from Laval, QC. He was most recently at Louisiana State University Eunice, competing in the NJCAA division.
Fernandez and Tabi have both signed three-year deals including club options for 2023 and 2024.
“Zachary is a player we have monitored for a while now,” says Head Coach Stephen Hart. “He is extremely impressive with his ability to get up and down the pitch, joining the attacks and taking care of his defensive duties.
“Obeng is another player with huge potential. He gives us what we were looking for in a left-footed left back. He has explosive pace and likes to get forward, which will be important in the way we will play this season.”
For Fernandez, the chance to return to Wanderers Grounds in the home colours excites him as he prepares to launch his professional career. The U21 player will inherit the number 3 shirt.
“It was always a dream to sign my first professional contract and when I played against the Wanderers, it made me feel like I wanted to be there,” says Fernandez. “I asked my agents if I could be a part of this team and I’m very excited to finally sign with the Wanderers.”
“The experience (at the Wanderers Grounds) was awesome. The city of Halifax, the stadium, the crowd – the game was so nice. It reminded me of when I was a child and this was what I always wanted.”
Although this season will be his first in Halifax, Tabi loves what he has seen at Wanderers Grounds and is equally looking forward to the chance to join the first team squad where he will take the number 19 jersey.
“It feels great because I’ve been working hard my whole entire life to get to this point,” explains Tabi. “I’m very happy Halifax has given me this opportunity to start my professional career and I am looking forward to winning with this team.”
“I’m mostly excited to play in front of the fans. I’ve been watching Halifax play for three years and the fans are just amazing and the club supports young players.”
Wanderers Sporting Director Matt Fegan feels both players fit the model of what the Wanderers intended to do this off-season.
“Our signings of Zach and Obeng show how we continue to invest in young Canadian talent,” explained Fegan. “Both have shown they have the quality to compete at this level. We knew we wanted to add some full-backs who were not just attack minded but productive in their delivery and still strong in defense. Both young men will come in with the expectation to compete for minutes in the backline this season.”