HFX Wanderers FC completed its goalkeeping contingent on Wednesday by signing local prospect Kieran Baskett to a contract for the 2021 CPL season with a club option for 2022. Baskett, 19, comes back to his hometown of Halifax after several years in the United States, including a standout freshman year at NCAA Division 1 school William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. Before that, the six-foot-three shot stopper attended a boarding school in Maryland. The Haligonian made 18 starts for William & Mary in 2019, racking up 1675 minutes in the Colonial Athletic Association as the school's no. 1 goalkeeper. "It’s just really great to find my way home," Baskett told CanPL.ca. "I was down in the United States for the last three years trying to progress my career. When the opportunity came up I couldn’t resist and it’s been so exciting – I can’t wait to represent my hometown."
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Baskett is well-known in Nova Scotia soccer circles as a former Suburban FC player and young standout on the provinces Canada Games team, in which he lined up beside Wanderers youngster Scott Firth. "Adding Kieran is another signal of our intent to give local players opportunities to prove themselves at the professional level," Wanderers' VP of Football Operations Matt Fegan said in a media release. "His signing can inspire other young Nova Scotians currently developing with our local clubs that they too can go all the way." Baskett attended a handful of Wanderers' home matches in 2019, completing the fan-to-player path first completed by Island Games participant and fellow Suburban FC player Luke Green. "It would really be a dream come true – the fans are great and I feel like it would give you such a boost playing in the Wanderers Grounds, especially in front of the home fans who I know many of," Baskett said. "It would mean the world to me." Baskett joins Christian Oxner, a fellow Haligonian, in Halifax’s goalkeeping tandem for the 2021 Canadian Premier League season and is the club's 14th player signed so far this off-season.