Sukunda Signs With Valour FC
It’s been four years since Halifax’s first-ever signing graced the Canadian Premier League, but Canadian midfielder Zachary Sukunda will now be returning with Valour FC.
The Winnipeg-based club has aimed to sign Canadian athletes with CPL experience in their docket, a reasonably optimistic move seeing as they made eight acquisitions in that bracket in this year’s wooden spoon season.
Sukunda is feeling like he’s hit a groove after four seasons in Finland, however, with the former IF Gnistan man hoping to play a big role in the club’s quest to crack a playoff spot for the first time ever.
He’s also a much different player now than he was in his Wanderers days: Zachary has transitioned from full-back into a much more attack-minded role while with PEPO Lappeenranta, where he tallied eight goals and four assists as a direct winger and attacking midfielder.
The 28-year-old has experienced promotion battles, relegation dogfights, and cup competition aplenty while in Finland, a place he could have seen himself stay – but Phillip Dos Santos had a vision in Winnipeg which drew in the Canuck.
“I feel like I’m in my prime right now,” Sukunda told Ed Tait. “It’s also part of why I want to come back, to hopefully display that in the Canadian league. I hope I can come in and make a big difference, not just on the field, but in the locker room in terms of taking care of the body, doing that extra work in the gym. I hope I can be a good leader by example.”
Sukunda made history as the first-ever player to sign with Canadian Premier League side Halifax Wanderers, with the then-right-back going in to make 21 appearances across all competitions for the side.
He developed through the CF Montreal academy and spent two years with their USL affiliate FC Montreal before completing his first stints abroad through Swedish side Umea FC and Australian clubs Hume City and Northcote City.
After experiencing the inaugural CPL season, his time in Finland saw him suit up for Ekenas IF, PEPO Lappeenranta, and IF Gnistan before procuring a Manitoba move in 2024.
“His time spent in Finland has allowed him to mature his game,” adds Dos Santos himself. “He’s a good player, an excellent professional and brings quality and flexibility to our roster.”
Sukunda arrives to Valour FC on a multi-year deal of unclear length and structure. He becomes the second new signing for 2024 after Shaan Hundal.