Forge FC announced Friday the club has signed Canadian International defender Manjrekar James. The central defender joins the Canadian Premier League’s top defence after an extensive career overseas in Europe including experience in the UEFA Champions League.

James, 29, spent last season with Ukrainian Premier League side Chornomorets Odessa appearing in 13 matches and tallying one goal. Internationally, the defender made his Canadian national team debut at 21 years old in 2015 and has gone on to make 17 appearances recording two goals.

“We are very happy to have Manjrekar join our club ahead of the 2023 season, “ said Forge FC Director of Football and Business Costa Smyrniotis. “He is a top defender, with tremendous international experience that will no doubt increase the quality of our squad.”

In the 2021-22 season, the native of North York, Ontario played with Superligaen club Vejle Boldklub appearing in 16 matches for the club. James’ vast European experience also includes a four-year stint (2018-21) with top Superligaen side FC Midtjylland making 18 appearances for the first team including one UEFA Champions League appearance before being loaned to Super League 1 side PAS Lamia 1964 for the remainder of the 2020-21 season. The 6-3 defender moved to FC Midtjylland in the 2018-19 season and was loaned to Danish second-tier club FC Fredericia making 20 appearances registering one goal and one assist.

James earned the move to Denmark, after five years (2014-18) in the Hungarian first division with Vasas FC (2016-18), Diósgyőri VTK (2015-16), and Pécsi MFC (2014-15) making 103 total appearances and tallying six goals and five assists between the three Hungarian clubs.