Canadian Exports: Junior Hoilett, QPR into promotion final for chance at return to EPL
While the season has wound down for many Canadians abroad, a few of our exports still have plenty left to play for.
The fates of three Canadian-born players will be hanging in the balance when Queens Park Rangers head to Wembley for the Championship playoff final on May 24, with a Premier League spot on the line. QPR earned their way into the game after a dramatic extra-time 2-1 win over Wigan on Monday, in which David “Junior” Hoilett (above) played 120 minutes.
And while some fans may balk at Hoilett’s inclusion in a roundup of Canadians abroad – given that he has yet to play on an international level for any country, despite multiple eligibilities – the recent repatriation of Fraser Aird has given hope that perhaps the tide is turning in Canada’s favor when it comes to undecided players.
Aird is currently at training camp with Canada’s Under-20 national team, along with QPR’s two other young Canucks, Michael Petrasso and Dylan Carreiro.
Further down the ladder in England, Iain Hume is in the interesting position of being in two promotion battles at the same time. He played the full 90 on Monday for Fleetwood City FC – where he’s on loan – in the first leg of their League Two playoff semifinals against York City. The second leg is on Friday, with a trip to Wembley on the line.
Meanwhile, Preston North End – Hume’s regular club – is in the League One playoffs, and earned a 1-1 draw with Rotherham in the first leg of their semifinals. Where will Hume end up next year – the Championship, League One or League Two? Stay tuned.
Over on the continent, Atiba Hutchinson went the full 90 for Besiktas in a 1-0 win over Elazigspor, while Samuel Piette went the distance and picked up a yellow card for Fortuna Dusseldorf II in a 3-0 win over Wattenscheid 09.
Caleb Clarke and Daniel Stanese both played the full game for Augsburg II in a 1-1 draw with Schweinfurt, while Andre Hainault contributed 90 minutes of work for VfR Aalen in a 2-1 loss to Paderborn.
Daniel Haber made a pair of appearances as a second-half substitute for Apollon Limassol in a pair of victories, while Randy Edwini-Bonsu played the full 90 in Stuttgarter Kickers’ final game of the season, a 3-1 loss to Red Bull Leipzig.
Up in Scandinavia, where the leagues are just getting going, David Monsalve played nearly all of AC Oulu’s 2-2 draw with HIFK in Finland, but was subbed out late in stoppage time. Roger Thompson came on as a sub for IFK Mariehamn on Thursday and Monday in Swedish league play.
And over in Japan, Dejan Jakovic once again put in a full game’s work for Shimizu S-Pulse in Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Sanfrecce Hiroshima.