March 5, 2024
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Vancouver FC Shaan Hundal Goal

Winnipeg Welcomes Back Shaan Hundal On Multi-Year Deal

By on December 1, 2023 0 1540 Views

Canadian forward Shaan Hundal is returning to Winnipeg some three seasons after last featuring for the side.

The 24-year-old proved a history-maker for expansion side Vancouver FC this year, scoring the club’s first-ever goal in a hot start that saw him tally five goals his opening nine games.

His sixth and final came before he was displaced by the club’s loan of Alejandro Diaz: after the Mexican striker arrived on July 11, Hundal found himself shifted frequently out on the right wing with reduced minutes, and didn’t score again for the side. That opened the door to thoughts of an exit plan ahead of 2024, he revealed.

“In Vancouver I was very unhappy and so it was a no brainer to get out of that situation,” the striker reflected to Ed Tait. “We had already decided in September that I wasn’t going to come back. The coach and I had a bit of a love-hate relationship.”

Vancouver FC Shaan Hundal
Photo Credit: Beau Chevalier

While Hundal had been in talks with multiple clubs, there was one coach who had chased him even before his stint in Vancouver: Phillip Dos Santos, who had been keen to secure a Winnipeg return for Hundal after seeing him tally up plenty of goals with Inter Miami II.

“So opportunity and being appreciated were the biggest things for me, along with Phil being so consistent in wanting me to come at times over the past few years. That’s why I keep saying this was a no brainer – I’m going somewhere I’m wanted, I’m going somewhere to work with a coach with a resume like his who knows so much about the game,” adds Hundal.

The striker says he likes to ‘play with passion’ and feels his production up top can scratch an itch that Valour felt all season long in 2023: with William Akio and Moses Dyer having exited prior, goals were few and far between this year, and the results spoke for themselves.

Valour FC Shaan Hundal
Hundal last wore a Valour badge in 2020. (Photo Credit: Canadian Premier League)

The club has pleaded for patience as it seeks to transform its roster into playoff contenders, with only eight of this season’s roster still on the books at present, though some remain in negotiations and others are under option consideration. Hundal, who had contributed two assists for Valour during 2020’s condensed Island Games season, marks the first ‘new’ addition.

“Shaan is a proven goal scorer,” Dos Santos told Tait. “We can’t wait to see him translate the success he’s had elsewhere to Winnipeg.”

The signing of the Brampton-born forward fits within the transfer strategy recently revealed by the club, who want to bring in domestic talent who have already proven themselves at the CPL level. While coming across perhaps a little hot-headed, Hundal has a good track record of consistency when played in his preferred position and looks a solid pickup overall.

Header Image Photo Credit: John Jacques

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