The Canadian Premier League dipped its toes in the Atlantic on May 25, introducing HFX Wanderers FC as one of its founding clubs in front of a crowd of over 500 supporters in Nova Scotia.
Mayor Mike Savage was also on hand to introduce the club, which is set to play out of a new 6,000-seat stadium at Wanderers Grounds in downtown Halifax.
- May 25: HFX Wanderers FC joins CPL
— HFX Wanderers FC (@HfxWanderersFC) May 26, 2018
The long-awaited club also unveiled its name and crest.
The name “Wanderers” is a nod to the historic pitch location and the Wanderers Amateur Athletic Club, founded in 1882, which was the first Haligonian club to compete in athletics with other Canadian cities.
- June 28: Stephen Hart named head coach
Former Canadian men’s national team head coach and Haligonian Stephen Hart assumed HFX Wanderers head coaching duties in June, becoming the first in club history and taking his managerial career back to his home province.
The former Saint Mary’s Huskies women’s coach last coached in the area in 2001 before getting involved in multiple levels of the Canadian youth ranks and the Canadian and Trinidadian men’s national teams.
- Sept. 20-21: #GotGame Open Trials in Halifax
- Halifax Trials watchlist
The first #GotGame Open Trials began in Halifax on Sept. 20 with former Canadian international Alex Bunbury leading trialists through the first in a series of seven two-day tryouts that visited another half a dozen Canadian cities.
Wanderers fans got their first look at the club’s new home in October when CanPL.ca profiled the Wanderers Grounds.
The intimate, 6,500-seat stadium is anchored by “The Kitchen,” a 1,000-seat east end supporters section named after an east coast “Kitchen Party.”
Fans also got a glimpse of the converted shipping containers that will give the stadium its nautical charm.
“The converted suites are unique for our city, given the importance of the shipping industry and the harbour,” said Derek Martin, president of HFX Wanderers.
- Nov. 1: First member reserves first seats
- Nov. 13: CPL-U SPORTS Draft
- HFX Wanderers draft ‘dominant’ Peter Schaale
- Nov. 29: CPL clubs unveil inaugural signings
- Sukunda first player in club history
Third-year Cape Breton defender Peter Schaale was the club’s first pick (fifth overall) in the inaugural three-round CPL-U SPORTS Draft.
Stephen Hart also added two picks from eastern Canadian schools; UQAM fifth-year defender Andre Bona (10th overall) and fourth-year goalkeeper Christian Oxner (19th overall) from Saint Mary’s.
HFX Wanderers added their first player on Nov. 29, inking Zachary Sukunda and making the 23-year-old one of the first signings in CPL history.
The Ottawa native comes to the club following professional spells in Australia and Sweden.
- Dec. 6: King, Hunter named assistant coaches