HFX Wanderers FC solidified their back line on Thursday with the announcement that they have signed centre back Peter Schaale.
Schaale, a 23-year-old native of Germany, was a first-round pick (fifth overall) of HFX at last year’s CPL-U SPORTS Draft out of Cape Breton University.
He made his debut on in the Wanderers’ inaugural match in April and went on to make 21 appearances during the season, including a number of games where he wore the captain’s armband.
Schaale returned to school in August, missing out on most of the Fall season, but now he’s back with the club on a full-time basis. Having previously been inked to a developmental deal out of the draft, Shaale is now on a fully professional contract, which means he’ll count as an international player on the Wanderers’ roster.
“It’s a great feeling, I had a great time last year and a great connection with my teammates, the city and the fans, so I’m happy to come back,” Schaale said.
Despite his lack of pro experience, Schaale impressed Wanderers coach Stephen Hart with his steady and reliable performances in the middle of the defence last season.
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“He was an integral part of the team last year not only on the field but a leader off the field with the way he carried himself,” Hart said. “He showed the necessary leadership to be named captain and he was not afraid.”
The Schaale signing is the latest in a flurry of off-season moves by HFX.
The Wanderers, previously announced the re-signing of defenders Alex De Carolis and Chrisnovic N’sa, midfielder Scott Firth, goalkeeper Christian Oxner, and Trinidad and Tobago duo Akeem Garcia and Andre Rampersad.
HFX also used the No. 1 pick in last month’s CPL-U SPORTS Draft to select left-winger Cory Bent from Cape Breton University. Wanderers picked Jake Ruby, a right fullback from Trinity Western University, in the second round.
They also signed Montreal Carabins duo Omar Kreim and Aboubabacar Sissoko, and striker Ibra Sanoh who starred for Holland Hurricanes college.