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Professional women’s soccer team coming to Halifax

By Jacob Moore Apr 9, 2024 | 6:22 PM

Halifax will soon have its own soccer team as part of the new Canadian professional women’s soccer league.

Courtney Sherlock, co-founder of the Atlantic Women’s Football Club, says her goal is for the team to play their first game by April 2025.

“The feedback has been phenomenal. Everybody is passionate about this. Especially in the soccer world. Every phone call we make is, ‘How can I help?’” says Sherlock.

The club made the official announcement on Tuesday. Four teams out of six have revealed from which city they are based.

Sherlock says the club plans to release the team name and its branding in the coming months.

The official playing field isn’t set, but Sherlock says it will likely be at the Halifax Wanderers Grounds or at a university field. The Halifax Wanderers Football Club is a national professional men’s soccer team.

Sherlock decided to buy the team when she met with some founders of Project Eight, the new national female soccer league. She says what they needed was someone to take the financial risk of creating a team.

“So I said, ‘Well, why not me? What am I waiting for?’” she says.

“That’s when we decided that I would buy the team rights and now we’re off to the races.”

Sherlock says she’s been a business owner for many years, but she doesn’t know much about soccer.

However, she says she has to hire people that know more about soccer than she does, like coaches, assistant coaches, health-care professionals, a sporting director and more.

“We’re going to let them do their thing,” she says.


After some controversy hit the Canadian national men’s and women’s soccer teams over salaries, Sherlock says they want to do their league differently.

The team will have a higher salary cap than most other women’s leagues, she says.

“We’re going to be making sure that our athletes don’t need to have a second job, that they are receiving a very good living wage,” says Sherlock.

It’s too early to provide specific details, she says.

More opportunities for female players

The club plans to create an academy program, a pathway for younger soccer players to develop their skills and potentially play professional soccer. The Vancouver Whitecaps or Calgary Foothills football clubs already have similar programs.

At the moment, female players don’t have much of a pathway to professional soccer other than university level play or the Canadian national team, Sherlock says.

“If they want to stay in Canada, their opportunity is simply the university level. If they want to go to a professional level, they’re leaving our country,” says Sherlock.

The club plans to set up the program as they set the team up over the next year.

Tow of Sherlock’s children play soccer. Her 13-year-old daughter plays at the highest level she can in Nova Scotia. In the next few years, Sherlock says they would have had to make a decision: does her daughter move away to pursue a higher level of play? Now, however, her daughter can consider staying in Nova Scotia and joining the academy program, she says.

Sherlock says her daughter now jokes about playing for Spain instead of Sherlock’s team.