Halifax Wins, Wanders Into Playoffs
The Halifax Wanderers have clinched a postseason position for just the second time in the club’s history, getting themselves over the line in front of a sell-out home crowd at Wanderers Grounds with a clutch win over three-time CPL champions Forge FC.
It’s safe to say that head coach Patrice Gheisar has all systems firing out east with a revamped Halifax Wanderers side scoring goals by committee, while smart recruitment from club officials seeing players like Daniel Nimick (who seems destined for a higher level), Lorenzo Callegari (who leads the entire league in passes, and it isn’t close), and Yan Fillion (a golden glove contender) establish themselves as core pieces in a squad filled with depth aplenty.
While today’s win for the CPL’s only Atlantic’s side secured at least a fourth-place finish, they are now within three points of both second and third: make no mistake, we’re going to see fireworks when the club visits last-place side Valour FC to close out the regular season.
If there’s one overarching story to Halifax’s year, it’s a club that has found its identity: there’s a clear sense of brotherhood within Patrice Gheisar’s ranks, with players committing to attack and a backline that, after some growing pains earlier on, has found the right sense of balance between offensive and defensive duties.
Locals to the city have clearly bought in on what they’re seeing on the pitch, with the east coast club averaging nearly six thousand spectators on average in a year that has seen plenty of weather adversity impact match schedules and gameday atmospheres. Locking in a first-ever home playoff match couldn’t have come at a better time, especially with the club pitching a permanent stadium to the city.
The last time Halifax made it beyond the regular season was in 2020’s shortened pandemic season. The club surpassed expectations to reach the CPL Final, but found themselves heftily outperformed by Forge. Now having the better of them in this year’s head-to-head matchups, it’s clear that the Wanderers have evolved from what they were just a few short years ago.
While where they finish in league standings won’t be determined until next week, it’s clear that the east coast side deserved to get beyond the line this year. There’s plenty of progress to reflect on in the rearview, but first there’s plenty more uncharted road ahead.
Header Image Photo Credit: Trevor MacMillan