No CPL team saw their stock rise in 2020 more than HFX Wanderers FC, whose magical run at The Island Games in PEI ended in a CPL Final appearance, just one year after finishing at the bottom of the league table.
In recognition of that incredible turnaround, Wanderers coach Stephen Hart was honoured on Thursday night with the CPL’s Coach of the Year award.
Hart beat out fellow nominees Bobby Smyrniotis of Forge FC and Mista of Atlético Ottawa, both of whom he acknowledged as similarly worthy candidates for the award.
Hart is the most experienced manager in the CPL, having been in coaching for over 20 years. He was in charge of the Canadian men’s team from 2009 to 2012, after about a decade working for Canada Soccer as an assistant and as coach of various youth sides. He also managed the national team of his native Trinidad and Tobago from 2013 to 2016 before returning to Halifax — where he’d both played and coached for the Saint Mary’s University Huskies — to lead the Wanderers upon their founding as part of the CPL.