June 22, 2024
  • June 22, 2024
Halifax Wanderers Tavio Ciccarelli

Wanderers Sign Blades Youngster To Exceptional Young Talent Contract

By on May 31, 2024 0 851 Views

Canadian forward Tavio Ciccarelli is coming home.

The Sheffield United youth prospect, 17, has put pen to paper on a three-year-deal with the Halifax Wanderers that clubs a club option for 2027. The move is pending receipt of his International Transfer Certificate (ITC) in July. 

Born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, the teenage forward has spent the last two seasons in the youth ranks of Sheffield United, who describe him as a tricky forward who found consistency in net, though some niggling injuries saw him miss a chunk of gametime whilst abroad.

Ciccarelli will be a familiar face to fans who followed the Canada U-20 team in February, with the 17-year-old forward producing a hat-trick against Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

Having also spent some time in the youth ranks at Leeds United, Tavio’s long-term deal out on Canada’s east coast represents his first senior steps in professional football.

“Tavio is coming here with a lot of energy and ability along with being driven and hungry to succeed,” says Wanderers head coach Patrice Gheisar. “He’s an exciting young player and we have a great group in regards to helping young players so we think he’s a player we can help grow and he can bring something to the team as well.”

The club has signed him through the league’s Exceptional Young Talent designation, which places him outside of the core 23-man roster. Ciccarelli is eligible to remain in this category through to the year he turns 21 – a moment in time still quite far away.

The league introduced the Exceptional Youth Talent rule and has seen Vancouver FC use it on two teenage talents in TJ Tahid and James Cameron, while Forge FC has used one to sign Khadim Kane.

“I’m really excited to come back home to Canada and play for the Wanderers,” adds Tavio himself. “I’ve heard positive things about the club, and one thing that stood out to me was the fans: loud and passionate, pushing the players on. Fans can expect a player who likes to take opposition players on to create plays and goals.” 

Wanderers Sporting Director Matt Fegan revealed that the club’s newest addition had glowing references from his coaches at both Sheffield United and the Canadian national team, stating that Halifax is delighted to see Tavio continue his development with the team.

After finishing third-place overall last season, 2024 sees Halifax enduring a tough start: with only one point earned after six matches, they’re currently bottom of the table and will face league-leading Atletico Ottawa this Sunday.

While he will have to wait for his ITC clearance, he’s reportedly coming in with an appetite to impress as he vies for a Canada U-20 call-up for the CONCACAF U-20 Championship set to take place in Mexico this summer.

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