Star Halifax Wanderers Forward Joao Morelli Cleared For Return
If you hear a noise coming from the east, it’s probably Halifax Wanderers fans rejoicing.
The Canadian Premier League club has just announced that its star Brazilian maestro, Joao Morelli, has been medically cleared to return to action and is expected back next month.
The creative attacker had procured 20 goals in just 34 appearances since arriving to Canada three years ago, but saw his MVP-defending campaign cut short last year when a knee injury required surgical intervention with a long-term recovery window.
Morelli had remained in Brazil for the duration of this, with a growing level of concern suggesting that a return to Halifax might not actually be on the cards – making today’s news all the better for Wanderers fans hoping the latter half of the season can see a dramatic turnaround.
The 2021 CPL MVP (and golden boot winner that year after a 14-goal haul) is still under contract for the remainder of the 2023 CPL season, which is the first one with Patrice Gheisar at the helm.
“I don’t think I can’t even describe what I’m feeling right now, really just excitement,” Morelli declared. “I can’t stop thinking about getting to play at the Wanderers Grounds again, I’ve been dreaming about it since last year. I really love Halifax, and I can’t wait to play there again in front of the fans and hopefully score a lot of goals again.”
Once hailed by Brazilian legend Juninho as one to watch the future, the creative midfielder has played a key role with the Wanderers. Prior to his time out east, he signed with English Championship side Middlesbrough in 2015, featuring regularly for the U-23 squad before a loan spell in Estonia.
Later landing with League One side Fleetwood Town on a free transfer, Morelli then bounced between Estonia and his native Brazil before landing out east, where he’s proven to be a league-leading attacker at the Canadian Premier League level.
The Halifax Wanderers are currently bottom of the table after six draws, two losses, and zero wins. Given that they’ve got the least goals scored out of anyone, it’s safe to say Morelli’s return is expected to be a huge boost.