HFX Wanderers FC defender Peter Schaale is spending some time in Victoria this off-season alongside teammate Cory Bent, using their time to explore the West Coast while training hard to prepare for the 2021 CPL season. Earlier this month, the Wanderers announced that Schaale has committed to a new contract that ties him to the club for two more seasons, with a team option for 2023. CanPL.ca contributor Dylan Lawrence chatted with the German centre-back to learn more about his future with the club and much more.
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What have you been up to in this off-season? Peter Schaale: We came back from (The Island Games), spent two weeks in Halifax with the team and we had a couple events, then after that, I headed to Victoria and I pretty much started working right away. I moved in with Cory and some old friends, they had a spot in the house for us. Our good friend here, Sean, is a personal trainer for football players, so we do a lot of stuff with him. Pretty much on the pitch every day and also going to the gym, and because it’s super nice out here we’ve done a couple camping trips when the weather allows it. That’s pretty much it, just being on a hard schedule working and working out, and taking the odd weekend off to go for a little trip and enjoy the nature and the scenery. You had previously mentioned that you love the outdoors. What is it that you enjoy about getting away and being in nature? PS: I’ve actually talked to my pals about this – football was always my getaway from my day-to-day; from school or whatever it is, football was always my getaway. In the last two years I’ve realized that now football is my main priority in life, and sometimes it’s hard to get away from football. I think when I go camping or when I do things with my friends and just be in the outdoors it gives me a bit of a rest from football, and puts me in a different headspace. I really enjoy it as well. You’re in Victoria now and you mentioned your favourite place you’ve travelled to is Bangkok. Would you say you’re an active traveller? PS: I’m trying to. I love travelling, it’s one of my favourite hobbies. It’s also really hard to do right now obviously because of COVID, but it’s always been hard to travel because of football. I mean, the whole project of me coming to Canada, to university, is all born out of a desire to see the world. That was what brought me to Canada was that I wanted to leave and I wanted to learn different cultures, new cultures. So, when I’m in the offseason I try to travel as much as I can. Another thing we’ve learned is that you have a hidden talent for being a handyman. How did that come about? PS: Yeah, definitely. The last time I was in B.C., about two years ago when I was playing for the Victoria Highlanders (USL League Two), I worked for a moving company here. That’s where I started to pick up on some stuff like using tools and how-tos. So I’ve just walked right back into it, and I’ve always been good with this stuff but I didn’t have a lot of time for it. It’s good knowledge to either make some money with it or just for yourself, it’s just good stuff to know, you know? When you went to university you got a marketing degree, and you’ve mentioned getting your degree was one of your proudest accomplishments. Could you talk about the idea of learning and why that’s a big accomplishment for you? PS: Well, you know, I have a lot of accomplishments that I connect to football, but [education] is one of those things I’ve always had to force myself to do – and to be quite honest it’s because I didn’t really enjoy school. But my parents always wanted me to get a degree, and I always liked the idea of getting a degree, but getting there was quite hard. I mean, you know that. I’m just happy with my decision to come to Canada and go to University, and then actually do it as well and get my degree in the end. I was going back and forth between that and football, and I had to leave the Wanderers and a lot of other sacrifices, and that’s why I value it so highly now. Looking forward, do you plan on staying in Canada long term? PS: Yes, for sure. For the foreseeable future, I want to stay in Halifax for sure because I believe there I can build a good foundation for life, and then see where it takes me. So, as a final question, what are you looking forward to the most in 2021? PS: Well, I think 2020 has been all about overcoming adversity. For me, it’s been a very difficult year, not just football-wise but you know, everything’s different and also being away from my family. Now at this point I’m not sure if I get to go home. You never know how COVID will turn out. So I just hope we can leave COVID behind us and have a fresh new year.