Morelli Extends Stay At Wanderers Grounds
Joao Morelli is here to stay.
Halifax Wanderers fans will be happy to hear that the prolific Brazilian forward has signed a two-year contract extension with the CPL side following his record-breaking fourteen goal campaign this season.
The 2021 CPL Golden Boot winner also scored in a Canadian Championship match against AS Blainville. Over the past two seasons, he’s contributed a staggering 19 goals in 31 appearances throughout all competitions.
“Whenever we have a player of Joao’s quality in our environment, we want to ensure we attract them to stay,” said head coach Stephen Hart of the player, “he’s a great personality in our dressing room and raises the level of his teammates in every training session and game.”
The Wanderers clearly missed Morelli when he was sidelined for a spell in October, with the side losing its grip on the fourth and final playoff spot at the tail end of the campaign.
That clearly hasn’t scared away Morelli from extending his stay, however.
In 2020 we got really close and we had high hopes this year to finish the job but it didn’t goJoao Morelli
the way we wanted. I really like this city, this club and the people around it. The players, the staff, the whole thing is really, really nice.
The Brazilian describes his two seasons with the Wanderers as being the best years of his life in terms of mental health, which is a compliment made even more significant considering both years occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sporting Director Matt Fegan reported that contract negotiations went smoothly, with Joao’s love for the city and ambition to play a significant role in the club’s future helping ease the process.
It goes without saying that Joao is a really important piece of our ongoing squad development at the Halifax Wanderers. Extending his contract was a top priority to ensure we retain our best players and compete at the top of the league.Sporting Director Matt Fegan
Morelli was once described by Brazil’s Juninho as one to watch for the future, with the right-footed forward landing with English Championship Middlesbrough in 2015. He featured regularly for the U-23 squad, undergoing a prolific loan in Estonia before signing with League One side Fleetwood Town on a free transfer.
Prior to signing with Halifax last February, he continued to bounce between Estonia and his native Brazil, but has now found himself well-settled in the city of Halifax.
In addition to locking in the 2021 Golden Boot Award, Morelli has also received a nomination for the league’s Player of the Year award, too.
“You first try to achieve titles with the team, but obviously as a player you want personal titles too. As a striker and an attacking midfielder, it’s important to have numbers and everyone has their eyes on you,” says the forward, “when you get recognized, you feel like you’ve done your job right and it motivates me to keep going and do more.”
Morelli’s return will be a big boost to the club’s hopes of returning to a postseason position next season. He becomes the first new contract announcement of the offseason, with the Wanderers having confirmed six player departures thus far.
The club is also home to last year’s Golden Boot Winner, Akeem Garcia, who has one year remaining on his contract but finished with a tally of just two goals in 2021.
Brazilian forward Joao Morelli will remain with the Halifax Wanderers through to 2023 under the terms of the new arrangement. The financial details were not disclosed by the Halifax Wanderers.