Written by Jonathan Briggins, HFX Wanderers FC
Photo by HFX Wanderers FC
HALIFAX, Nova Scotia – Wanderers first-round pick Stefan Karajovanovic may be new to professional football, but he’s no stranger to the Canadian Premier League.
After training with two other CPL teams, the prolific scorer from Gatineau, QC signed with the HFX Wanderers in June after the team selected him 7th overall in the 2021 CPL-U SPORTS Draft.
“It is another level compared to U SPORTS. But you just put your head down, just grind it out and you’ll get used to the level,” says Stefan Karajovanovic from Winnipeg, where he’s featured in every match of The Kickoff.
Before the Island Games last season, Karajovanovic trained with Atlético Ottawa and got a sense of what it would take to crack a CPL roster. The striker already was popular in Ottawa after scoring 35 goals in 37 matches over three seasons for the Carleton Ravens while playing university football across the river from his hometown of Gatineau.
“It’s obviously different when you get in the game. The play is very fast. You don’t have a lot of time to make decisions. You just have to be sharp,” the 22-year-old says of those early adjustments to the league.