Hammerheads bring back six players for 2016 USL season

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Wilmington Hammerheads FC continues to actively recruit talent for the upcoming season and recently announced the return of six players to its roster.

Defender Tom Parratt, midfielders Justin Moose, Will Heaney, Stefen Defregger and forward Qudus Lawal all will be on the 2016 USL roster.

Parratt will be returning to the club for his sixth season. The veteran from Scotland played in 23 matches last season and had two assists from the right back defensive position.

Justin Moose. Photo courtesy- Wilmington Hammerheads FC
Justin Moose. Photo courtesy- Wilmington Hammerheads FC

“Tom has some great international experience,” said Head Coach Mark Briggs. “That has helped him become a leader in the locker room and he will be a huge asset to the team as well as the coaching staff this season.”

Moose will be starting his second season with the Hammerheads. After graduating from Wake Forest University in 2005, he was selected in the first round of the 2006 MLS SuperDraft. Moose has played for D.C. United, Vancouver Whitecaps, Sriracha FC in Thailand and Seinajoen Jalkapallokerho in Finland before returning home.

“I feel very privileged to be playing professionally in my home state,” said Moose. “I missed North Carolina and am stoked to be close to family and friends.”

Last season Moose played in 24 games and scored two goals, while Heaney is returning for his fourth season after 22 appearances last year.

“Will has great character and brings a lot to the club and community,” said Briggs.

Heaney has coached multiple Wilmington Hammerheads Youth FC teams, including a team that won the Wilmington Beach Classic this past season.

Stefan Defregger. Photo courtesy- Wilmington Hammerheads FC
Stefan Defregger. Photo courtesy- Wilmington Hammerheads FC

“We are thrilled these three guys will be returning to the Hammerheads this season,” said Briggs. “They will bring a wealth of experience and will be very important to the roster. They understand our club and our community and the expectations of being a Hammerhead.”

The club also exercised its second year team option on Defregger and Lawal.

Defregger will be returning for his second year after having a good rookie campaign with the club.  The midfielder played in 15 matches and scored two goals last season. After participating in an open tryout for the club, Defregger impressed coaches and was signed right out of college.

The New Hampshire native played at Dartmouth College and earned All-Ivy League Second Team in his senior season.

“Stefan [Defregger] had a great first year,” said Briggs. “He contributed a lot on the field and we are looking forward to him improving on his great rookie campaign.”

Lawal is also returning for his second year with the Hammerheads. The club traded for him midseason last year in a straight exchange with the Seattle Sounders FC 2 for defender Ashani Fairclough.

Lawal brought some much needed firepower for the club in his rookie season, netting two goals and two assists in 11 matches for the club. The Hammerheads are excited about the young Nigerian this year and expect him to play a much bigger role in the offense after spending a full offseason with the club.