Pacific FC today announced the re-signing of Kunle Dada-Luke to a new one-year deal, with a club option for the 2024 season.
The 22-year-old right fullback and winger, who has both Canadian and Nigerian citizenship, extends his stay with the club after initially joining the Tridents in 2021.
“This club took a chance on me three years ago. I went from being without a club to a champion in that time span,” said Dada-Luke. “The Island has become a second home for me and playing at Starlight Stadium in front of our fans always gives me that spark I need to go the extra mile.”
Dada-Luke played in 30 matches in the 2022 season for a total of 2384 minutes, his most consistent season to date. A fan favourite on the Island, Dada-Luke scored one goal and added two assists for Pacific in 2023, including setting up Josh Heard in the club’s 6-0 victory over Waterhouse FC in the preliminary round of the 2022 Scotiabank Concacaf League. He regularly showcased his aptitude for creating space and using his speed and size to his team’s advantage as a talisman up front in all competitions.
Dada-Luke was named to the league’s Gatorade Team of the Week three times last season. He led the squad with 73 tackles, winning a team-high 46 such battles, won a team-high 174 duels and contributed 36 interceptions and 13 crosses.
“I believe KDL can be the most dynamic right back in the Canadian Premier League and can also play as a wingback or wide forward,” said James Merriman, Head Coach, Pacific FC. “He is developing into a very versatile modern full back and is incredibly hungry to build off his 2022 performances and push to another level.”
Dada-Luke, who was raised in Mississauga, represented Toronto FC II in United Soccer League play and Toronto FC III in League1 Ontario play during his youth. He was picked up by Danish club FC Helsingør in 2019, returning to the CPL with Atlético Ottawa in 2020, though he did not feature in that year’s Island Games. He was crowned league champion with Pacific at the end of his first season with the club two years ago.
Dada-Luke previously represented Canada at the youth level, making his debut in Canada Soccer’s Men’s National Youth Program at 14 years old. He later went on to represent the country’s Under-17 team with two appearances at the 2017 Concacaf Men’s Under-17 Championship in Panama.
Pacific FC has a roster of 14 players confirmed for the coming 2023 season.