Patrice Gheisar Is Halifax’s New Head Coach
The Halifax Wanderers have named League1 Ontario Coach of the Year Patrice Gheisar as the club’s new head coach.
The appointment of Halifax’s new leader comes 48 days after the club sacked Stephen Hart following two seasons without any playoff action out east. With most of the squad on club options, Patrice will have plenty of flexibility in how he wants to build a team whom Club President Derek Martin insists must play attractive, entertaining football.
“I was ecstatic when I got the news; words can’t express it. I am just looking forward to getting started,” said Gheisar of today’s appointment. “Halifax fits all the things I wanted, I loved the city when I came here, and it has the best fans in the league. It’s the opportunity of a lifetime.”
The club’s new boss arrives after completing back-to-back invincible seasons with Vaughan Azzurri in League1 Ontario, where his side hoisted the trophy after routing the Blue Devils 5-1 in the final. Gheisar, who hasn’t tasted regular season defeat since 2019, is a well-known head coach in Ontario circles, with Halifax now tapping him to help the east coast side return to playoff football.
“My focus from day one has been to find a winner, a builder and a communicator, and throughout this extensive process, Patrice proved to be the best option for all three,” stated Wanderers President Derek Martin. “Our ambition is to be perennial winners on and off the pitch, and I believe Patrice has the drive, passion, experience and relationships to get us there.”
Gheisar has also helped develop four current national team stars in Dayne St. Claire, Jonathan Osorio, Kamal Miller, and Alistair Johnston, the latter of whom actually got sent off when Vaughan battled Halifax in the Canadian Championship.
Gheisar and his crew gave a good account for themselves back then, battling to a 3-3 result over two legs but bowing out through away goals.
Beyond his tenure in Vaughan, the new Halifax boss has also coached with Toronto Metropolitan University, York University, SC Toronto, and Seneca College, where he was named OCAA coach of the year in 2019.
Halifax’s hunt for a new head coach attracted over eighty applicants, with Patrice named amongst a shortlist of four others two weeks ago. It looks like he’ll be bringing in his own staff given that Alejandro Dorado left last week.
“I work hard, and I’m proud of that. For me, it’s the higher the wall, the more I get out of myself,” added Gheisar. “Right now, the sky is the limit for the Wanderers, and it’s not about just doing better than last year: we’re going to try and go and be the best we’ve ever been and represent our city and fans at its best.”
There are League1 links aplenty that might form from Gheisar’s appointment, some of whom we’d already named as likely future CPL signings. Given that the other CPL coach with big League1 Ontario links is none other than three-time league winner Bobby Smyrniotis, it’ll be interesting to see how Gheisar fares with his new opportunity out east.
With most of his new squad on club options, Patrice will need to make crucial roster decisions in his first month on the job.
His first preseason with the club will take place in late February / early March.