July 20, 2024
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Valour FC Julian Dunn

Dunn Completes CPL Return With Halifax Wanderers

By on February 21, 2024 0 945 Views

Canadian defender Julian Dunn is heading back to the Canadian Premier League, signing a one-year deal with the Halifax Wanderers which includes a club option for 2025.

The 23-year-old had spent a season on loan in the CPL before, with Toronto FC sending him to Valour for The Island Games. He surpassed expectations back then, completing an iron man season and earning a U-21 Canadian Player Of The Year nomination.

“Julian is a player we know can come in and right away do some big things,” says Halifax boss Patrice Gheisar. “He has experience at this level, which is a huge plus. He’s agile, aggressive in defending and excellent with the ball at his feet.”

Dunn arrives following a two-year spell in Norway with HamKam, where his influence was limited to five matches before he was sidelined by a serious knee injury that kept him out of action for over a year.

“He has shown good character and fought hard to get back on the field,” said HamKam head coach Jakob Michelsen. “That is why it was extra nice to see him play the training matches earlier this winter and that he is finally back on the field.”

It’s been a tough spell of time for the youngster, especially given he missed the 2021 MLS season through a hip injury before tapering off his time in Toronto with a handful of MLS NEXT Pro appearances.

Dunn had signed a homegrown player contract with Toronto FC in 2018 after progressing through the academy system. He made three MLS appearances in all, making 21 appearances for TFCII before he was released and tested himself in Norway.

If he can return to his previous form and good health, the Toronto-born defender presents a high ceiling for his new chance out east – though Gheisar is taking a leap of faith that the defender’s injury troubles will remain in the rearview.

“This is a really exciting opportunity for me, and I can’t wait to get started,” said the defender himself. “It means a lot for me to be able to come back to Canada after being so far away from home and have my family and friends be able to see me play. I’m excited for the grass field, the fans and I know Pat and how he wants to play.”

The 23-year-old becomes the twentieth player to sign on for the 2024 Halifax Wanderers roster, with this week already seeing Italian midfielder Giorgio Probo unveiled.

The Wanderers will kick off their sixth season with a costal clash against Pacific set for April 13.

Header Image Photo Credit: Canadian Premier League

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