York9 FC on Thursday announced perhaps the biggest splash signing of the CPL’s off-season so far, revealing that they’ve agreed to a multi-year deal with former HFX Wanderers FC defender Chrisnovic N’Sa.
N’Sa, 21, had a breakout campaign for the Wanderers during The Island Games, making nine appearances for the club (eight as a starter). His work at right fullback was good enough to earn a nomination for the CPL’s U-21 Canadian Player of the Year Award for 2020.
He also made 21 appearances for the Wanderers in their inaugural 2019 campaign, playing in a variety of positions including centre-back and midfield. The Montreal native and former Montreal Impact academy player was one of the most impressive players on the HFX side that went to the CPL Final in 2020.
N’Sa became a free agent this off-season after turning down the Wanderers’ offer of a new contract.
“When Chrisnovic N’Sa is available, you do all you can to secure his services. He’s a player who has shone in the first few years of the CPL and we are delighted to have signed him,” York9 managing consultant Angus McNab stated.
“I watched and re-watched our Island Games clash with Halifax too many times and every big moment for them seemed to feature this one chap with the number six on his back: from the start of the game and stopping Ryan Telfer to winning that free-kick late-on that ultimately hurt us and saw them make an eventual run to the final.
“I see Chrisnovic at the very top of the list of young Canadians ready to play overseas. We need to give him a platform here and support that ambition as his development is ultimately good for the future of soccer in Canada.”
At The Island Games, N’Sa was a standout player on both sides of the ball, winning the second-most 1v1s among defenders. He finished third in the CPL in successful tackles (16), third in successful duels (59) and fourth in interceptions (17).
“When we were younger, we always told ourselves we were going to play on the same team,” Chrisnovic said.
“But I never thought it was really going to happen: I was telling Felix that just to make him happy. So, when I heard that York9 was interested in the both of us, I knew I couldn’t miss this opportunity.”
N’Sa joins 15 other York9 players confirmed for the 2021 season, a list that includes goalkeeper Nathan Ingham, defenders Morey Doner and Diyaeddine Abzi, midfielders Michael Petrasso and Mateo Hernandez, and forwards Alvaro Rivero and Nicholas Hamilton.