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HFX Wanderers launch/2019 offseason thread

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Yeah this is great. 

It will take some time for the teams to mesh - having an advantage on that front could definitely be a difference-maker in early games. I can't claim to be particularly familiar with any of the four players, but I like where Hart's head is at. I think he is approaching his roster-building a little differently, and I'm happy he has the experience he has. 

Welcome to the team gents.

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Was only off on the timing. I guess they have signed pre-contracts, so there is no harm in announcing them now. Think Halifax need the international angle to work well for them to compete given the quality of local players won't be anything like as high as it is in some of the other markets.

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28 minutes ago, dyslexic nam said:

I don't know if this is the first time it is being suggested, but #Rocketman is a nickname that pretty much writes itself for one of the Wanderers newest signings.    

 

 

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44 minutes ago, m-g-williams said:

Also, this post may have just won Twitter:

 

I don't think this will ever get old! I'm so happy we got Elton. My first jersey? Perhaps.

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3 hours ago, Viruk42 said:

 

Sorry I cannot get excited by a quadruple signing from T&T, not overly interested in that kind of news. 

Where I can accept it is that it is where Hart might have an edge, and HFX has to get their edge somewhere, lacking a widely diverse and strong selection from Maritime players. 

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1 minute ago, FC_Hali said:

Not to be a downer but I hope that’s the extent of Trinidad signings. Don't mind a few internationals but we don't want to be developing players for our concacaf rivals.

Central American players come cheap. I expect a lot of this kind of signing. And remember, at least 2 of these guys are older, we won’t really be “developing” the older players. 

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45 minutes ago, BenFisk'sBiggestFan said:

Central American players come cheap. I expect a lot of this kind of signing. And remember, at least 2 of these guys are older, we won’t really be “developing” the older players. 

Little disappointed the biggest of the signings (Williams and John) most recently were playing in Guatemala D2 and TnT D2.

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49 minutes ago, FC_Hali said:

Not to be a downer but I hope that’s the extent of Trinidad signings. Don't mind a few internationals but we don't want to be developing players for our concacaf rivals.

There are only 5 international spots I believe (or is it 5 international spots on the field at any one time?) so there will undoubtedly be Canadian. I don't mind the strategy of a ground of internationals with some experience playing together as the spine, and developing Canadians on the outside. Gotta start somewhere, and there will certainly be Canadians coming. Halifax is definitely the team with the shallowest local market and probably the toughest time signing existing Canadian players. 

At least they build up their reputation as the best and scrappiest club in the league!

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1 hour ago, BenFisk'sBiggestFan said:

Central American players come cheap. I expect a lot of this kind of signing. And remember, at least 2 of these guys are older, we won’t really be “developing” the older players. 

Caribbean players come even cheaper, and this is where I think the coach is going to spread his net widest, especially among caribbean players from Commonwealth countries. Halifax is the closest CPL destination to home for them. I'm betting that the Wanderer's identity will be a strong Maritimes flavour sprinkled with a lot of Caribbean spice.

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Right now Halifax has four times the number of T&T players as they do Canadian. I realize that won't last but right now it doesn't look great. It will be interesting to see how many Canadian players they get from somewhere other than the Atlantic provinces.

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Wiki tells me that Jan-Michael Williams has only 53 starts at club level, despite an interesting CV and more than a decade as a pro with a lot of international clubs, but heaps more than that for his country.  Maybe he's tired of riding the pine. Hart has presumably promised him the starting role.

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4 hours ago, Gian-Luca said:

Right now Halifax has four times the number of T&T players as they do Canadian. I realize that won't last but right now it doesn't look great. It will be interesting to see how many Canadian players they get from somewhere other than the Atlantic provinces.

It's just the timing that's unfortunate, if they already had a couple of Canadians, this would most probably be received a bit better. 

The other teams will have foreigners as well (and probably just as many). 

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4 hours ago, shamrock said:

It's just the timing that's unfortunate, if they already had a couple of Canadians, this would most probably be received a bit better. 

The other teams will have foreigners as well (and probably just as many). 

Yep 100%. This is key to remember. Optically it does look a bit iffy, but its only really because this is the 2nd player announcement out of Halifax. If they had 10 Canadians named, and then they announced they were bringing in an experience spine from T&T, including a goalkeeper with 80+ international caps, people would be incredibly pumped I think. 

I slept on it and I'm even more hyped about the move than before. I don't think we will see many more internationals, moreso some Canadian talent. I just hope one or two noteworthy Canadian names have opted to give Halifax a go. The small coastal city with a whole-lot of character has got to appeal to some (or maybe that's just my bias talking).

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8 hours ago, nolando said:

Wiki tells me that Jan-Michael Williams has only 53 starts at club level, despite an interesting CV and more than a decade as a pro with a lot of international clubs, but heaps more than that for his country.  Maybe he's tired of riding the pine. Hart has presumably promised him the starting role.

I question the number of games, it's just insane to me that TnT would use a bench warming from their own league to start for them for almost a decade.

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I'm wondering if they advanced these signings to sort our paperwork, anticipating a longer period to get their permits through. Otherwise, they must realise it was not the news that HFX fans were really wanting to hear, just yet.

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A few thoughts:

Firstly, Derek King (Assistant Coach), former assistant coach of the Trinidad and Tobago men’s football team, who won the TT Pro League twice with Joe Public (2009) and North East Stars (2017) and won TT Super League (Semi-Pro) with Santa Rosa (2018)  knows TT talent inside and out.  Also, from what I've read the TT leagues have had financial issues.  The Pro League implemented a wage structure which saw drastic cuts in salaries for players and members of the technical staff recently.  It appears that many of the semi-pro clubs elect to stay semi-pro to be financially stable even though they can be promoted to the Pro league.

Secondly, Stephen Hart has laid the blueprint for the club.  It will be a blend of athleticism and technical ability.  We will employ speed and keep the ball on the ground with a little flair 1v1.  Our primary asset though will be athleticism.  I don't think you'll see a traditional center forward but more attacking as group from the wings with possible a 4-3-3 instead of a 4-4-2.  I wouldn't be surprised if a guy like Simeon Jackson signed with us.  He played under Hart before.  He is currently with St.Mirren in Scotland and could leave in January or at the end of the year.  You'll notice that all of these player can play multiple position forward/wing and DM/CB.  It provides versatility given that HFX maybe a smaller squad in terms on numbers.

Thirdly, in comparison to other signings across the league, we have signed the most experienced Goalkeeper by far.  Regardless of the quality of the TT Leagues, Jan-Michael Williams (JMW) has competed against the best in Concacaf.  I think an experienced keeper is essential to team success especially leading what could be a young back line.  It also gives a mentor to Christian Oxner.  JMW received his  TTFA ‘C’ licence coaching and will probably continue on with CSA coaching licenses as he transition at the end of his career into coaching. 

From the highlights (I've never seen him play) there are a couple flaws in his game:

  • He sometimes punches the ball when he should catch it
  • He sometimes parry's the ball in front of him instead of out of bounds
  • It's fine at lower levels with fewer challenging shots, however, rebound control mitigates second chances

For Elton John, he's an old school deep lying defensive midfielder that can spread the field with his distribution.  Quick two touch and distributed.  He would fit the Michael Bradley (not like him) role.

As for the other two signings.  It's hard to find much visual content to review their play.

I would not be surprised if we looked at other Caribbean markets for players like Haiti, Jamaica, Suriname.  

A guy like Dane Kelly, would do well in this league.  He is unattached

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dane_Kelly

 

Edited by DigzTFC

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What's all the fuss about? In Harts interview before the New Year he CLEARY said 4 international players will be announced, and they all have to get used to Canadian weather. I'm sure we're all smart enough to know where the players were going to be from. 

There are rules in place. Canadians have to be signed if Halifax is to play in the CPL. Chill tf out, don't knock it 'til you've tried it, and have some patience. 

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