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HFX Wanderers take 2 defencemen, keeper at CPL U SPORTS draft

Peter Schaale (left), André Bona (middle) and Christian Oxner (right) were all drafted by the HFX Wanderers  on Monday at the CPL-U SPORTS draft. .
Peter Schaale (left), André Bona (middle) and Christian Oxner (right) were all drafted by the HFX Wanderers on Monday at the CPL-U SPORTS draft. . Source: HFX Wanderers

Slowly but surely, it’s starting to become clear who may lead the way for Halifax’s new professional soccer team.

On Monday, the HFX Wanderers drafted a pair of international defenders and a local goalkeeper at the Canadian Premier League [CPL] U SPORTS Draft.

Third-year Cape Breton University [CBU] defender Peter Schaale was drafted fifth overall by the Wanderers.

READ MORE: HFX Wanderers release preliminary ticket pricing for members

Schaale, a 22-year-old all-star from Cologne, Germany, was awarded the Atlantic University Sport men’s soccer most valuable player award this year after helping lead the CBU Capers to their third straight league title.

Schaale is calling the fifth overall selection a “massive honour.”

“It’s all a bit surreal,” he said. “I am super happy to be selected in the first round, and it’s beautiful.”

“I can’t wait to get going.”

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Schaale added that he was delighted to be drafted in Halifax, as his university is just a short trip away.

“I really like Halifax. I’ve been there a couple times and always enjoyed my time,” Schaale said. “I’m very tight-knit with my university and my team, so it’s nice to be close to the university.”

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Halifax Wanderers named as city’s newest professional sports team
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The Wanderers also selected 28-year-old defender André Bona from the Université du Québec à Montréal, and fourth-year Halifax goalkeeper Christian Oxner out of Saint Mary’s University.

Oxner, too, is excited to compete for a team near his hometown university during the off-season.

“You know, you grow up in Halifax and kids in Europe can dream about playing for their (local) teams, but now that it’s available in Halifax, no words can describe what it means to be able to go out there to have the chance to compete for my hometown team,” Oxner said.

“It really is a dream come true.”

READ MORE: HFX Wanderers announced as city’s new professional soccer team

Calgary’s Cavalry FC was awarded the first awarded the first overall pick, which they used to select Carleton forward Gabriel Bitar.

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The draft was completed in three rounds and will send 21 players to the CPL clubs’ preseason camps, where players will have the chance to sign either developmental or pro contracts, depending on student athlete eligibility.

Oxner, Bona and Schaale have all earned invites to the Wanderers preseason camp in early 2019. The club says all three players will have to work to earn one of the 23 spots on the team.

The HFX Wanderers were announced as Halifax’s newest professional sports team back in May. The CPL is scheduled to begin in spring 2019.

Preliminary ticket prices for season ticket holders were released last month and can be found here.

—With files from The Canadian Press.