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Valour FC has signed English striker Stephen Hoyle to a multi-year contract.

Hoyle, 26, joins the Canadian Premier League club from New Zealand’s Canterbury United for whom he has scored 31 goals in 54 games.

“Stephen is a player that we were made aware of through scouting connections and contacts overseas, and we reached out to him early on in the process,” Valour FC head coach and GM Rob Gale said in a statement. “He’s a proven goal-scorer with a great work ethic to lead the line and has a natural instinct around goal.

“He turned down other opportunities to come to Winnipeg, and we’re looking forward to his arrival.”

Hoyle started his career as part of England’s Football Association Academy with his hometown club of Barnsley FC, before playing for the Doncaster Rovers youth team and the University of Stirling in Scotland.

He has played in New Zealand since 2012-13 with Hawke’s Bay, WaiBOP United, Napier City Rovers and Canterbury.

“I’m very excited about the opportunity to represent Valour FC next season,” Hoyle said in a statement. “Rob is a coach I really want to work with in a league where we can make history straight away — in one of the most beautiful countries in the world. It’s a win-win for me.”

Hoyle will join the Winnipeg team after Canterbury’s season. The seven-team CPL kicks off its inaugural season in April.

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