HFX Wanderers Soccer Club Announce First International Player Signings
Halifax, N.S. - HFX Wanderers FC have made their first overseas player transfers by signing four high-profile players from Trinidad and Tobago.
Together, Jan-Michael Williams, Elton John, Akeem Garcia and Andre Rampersad, will make history as the Canadian Premier League soccer club's first international signings.
All four have won championships at the club level in Trinidad and Tobago and three of them have represented their home country at the senior international level.
Wanderers Head Coach Stephen Hart got the inside track on the players having been in charge of Trinidad and Tobago's National Team, between 2013 and 2016.
"I'm delighted because we have a group of players who are familiar with each other and basically they play down the middle of the park, so I think that's very important," said Hart. "It has been my goal to build the spine of the team first."
Having amassed 81 full international caps for Trinidad and Tobago, goalkeeper Jan-Michael Williams arrives at the Wanderers as the most experienced of the new "Trinbago" bunch. 34-year-old Williams has played in the professional leagues of Belgium, Hungary, Honduras and most recently Guatemala. The 6-foot 3-inch keeper has also won a number of titles at club level in his home country for W Connection and Central FC.
"I am extremely excited to play in the Canadian Premier League and to be a part of the inaugural season," said Williams, who has also played in CONCACAF Gold Cups and World Cup qualifying games, through a distinguished international career.
A former Central FC teammate of Williams, 31-year-old midfielder Elton John, joins the club as another veteran professional, having also won titles with North East Stars FC and San Juan Jabloteh FC in Trinidad and Tobago.
"I'm excited and happy for a new challenge," John said. "I'm ready to make the fans happy with the Wanderers and hoping they accept me as a player."
Rounding out the four, the two promising younger players on their way to Halifax from the Caribbean, are joining the Wanderers in part through the club's other Trinidad and Tobago connection - Assistant Coach Derek King.
Forward Akeem Garcia and midfield player Andre Rampersad were both a part of King's recent championship winning FC Santa Rosa team.
"It's a great feeling to sign for my first club away, that's been one of my dreams. I'm really happy and I'm ready to give everything," said Akeem Garcia.
Rampersad said he's also thrilled to be getting the chance to play in the brand new Canadian Premier League.
"It's overwhelming for me as a player getting this opportunity and I want to make a big impact and do my best for my club," he said.
All four players are signing for the Wanderers pending medicals and the completion of an International Transfer Certificate in the transfer window opening in February 2019.
The Trinidad and Tobago quartet join the club's inaugural signing Zachary Sukunda as new members of the Wanderers.
Head Coach Stephen Hart is working hard attempting to negotiate deals for a number of other players, as he continues to get his squad ready for the new league's big kick off in April.
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