Maritimers have won the commissioner’s heart.
Speaking to the Halifax’s Chronicle Herald this week in Nova Scotia, the CPL Commissioner David Clanachan was over the moon with the city, HFX Wanderers FC and its supporters.
“I cannot say enough times how impressed I am with the way that the city and the region has embraced the Wanderers and made it their own,” Clanachan said.
Supporters have taken to their new club in numbers. Wanderers officials revealed strong season ticket sales ahead of their inaugural season at Wanderers Grounds.
“We want to make sure we put out an entertaining product on the field,” Clanachan added. “We’re not building teams, we’re building clubs. And clubs are about the community.”
Clanachan continued: “I love this part of the world. I would love nothing better on a Saturday afternoon than to spend time in downtown Halifax, go to the game and then spend more time in downtown Halifax afterwards. What a great place to be.”
With no local rival in the CPL, many have targeted Pacific FC as a “natural” opponent to the Wanderers, a kind of sea-to-sea competition.
Some 4,476 kilometres separate Stephen Hart’s Wanderers and Michael Silberbauer’s Pacific FC, making it the third longest top-flight away trip in world football.
Clanachan clearly welcomed the ocean-to-ocean rivalry.
“When Pacific FC comes to town, I think that’ll be a big game out here, and when Halifax goes to Pacific FC,” Clanachan said. “Think about it, it’s closer to fly to Europe from here in Halifax. That should be interesting.
“If you want to be a league that claims to be coast to coast and for Canadians, by Canadians, then you better be prepared to be on both the east and west coasts.”
The commissioner’s visit came weeks after the Wanderers and Soccer Nova Scotia formed a “groundbreaking” agreement. No Nova Scotia Soccer League games will clash with Wanderers home fixtures, allowing all players and their families to attend or view matches without missing their own.