Halifax Wanderers sign goalkeeper Rushenas to U SPORTS contract

The Halifax Wanderers have signed Canadian U21 goalkeeper Aiden Rushenas to a CPL – U SPORTS contract for the 2023 season.

Rushenas, 19, was selected by the Wanderers in the 2023 CPL – U SPORTS draft out of Dalhousie University. 

The goalkeeper from Toronto is well acquainted with the Wanderers. Rushenas was a part of first-team training throughout the 2022 CPL season. He signed a short-term contract and made the bench in the Wanderers’ August 1 match against York United FC. Rushenas also played in both Wanderers U23 matches last summer. 

“Aiden came into pre-season and put his best foot forward in everything he did and responded great on the field to what we asked of him,” Wanderers head coach Patrice Gheisar said. “He’s worked hard to get where he is, training with the team since last season, playing U23. He’s always working hard to improve and asking for feedback.” 

Over his two seasons at Dalhousie, Rushenas has led all of Atlantic University Sport in saves made. He was named the Tigers’ most valuable player in 2022 after making a league-best 81 stops in just 12 appearances. After being drafted in 2023, Rushenas joined the first team for pre-season and saw game action in exhibition matches in Auburndale, Florida. 

“It’s great to see all my work paying off, and I’m so happy that the club has put faith in me to be a part of this team,” Rushenas said. “It’s also nice to represent an Atlantic school, my mom was born and raised in Lower Sackville, and I have a lot of Dal alumni in my family.” 

Rushenas is the fourth Wanderers player to sign with the club after being drafted out of an AUS school after Peter Schaale (Cape Breton), Christian Oxner (Saint Mary’s) and Cory Bent (Cape Breton). Ahead of the 2023 draft, the club committed to selecting talent exclusively from AUS. 

“We take drafting a player very seriously,” Gheisar said. “And then you add in that Aiden comes to us from down the street at Dalhousie, and it’s very idealistic of that vision. He’s enthusiastic, has a lot of energy, and most importantly, he fits in with the group.”