TORONTO - George Brown Huskies Male Athlete of the Year Shaquille Agard took the field representing the Guyanese senior men's national soccer team on March 28 for an international friendly against Martinique.
"It started off as a shock when I first got the call from the program. It's a truly amazing feeling to get to represent your country," said Agard. "Putting the jersey on of where I was born, thinking about all of my friends and family who are proud."
Guyana's men's program is currently ranked 139th in the world, and have been steadily rising over the past half decade. The South American country borders Brazil, and soccer is the by far the most popular sport among its 800,000 residents.
The Golden Jaguars, as they are known, pulled off their biggest achievement to date in 2012 when they knocked off Trinidad and Tobago to reach CONCACAF's second round. Agard, a 6-foot-0 striker, has the opportunity to play alongside Guyanese star Vurlon Mills, a 26-year-old scorer who plays professionally for United Petrotrin.
"I want to use this opportunity as a stepping stone moving forward," said Agard. "We have another friendly in June against Panama, and I'm hoping to be there again. Our unity as a team is getting stronger and stronger."
Agard has previously appeared for the Guyanese national team and was flown out to Linden, Martinique shortly after the OCAA Indoor Soccer Championships' completion in late March. The 30-man roster is led by head coach Wayne Dover.
This season, Agard's first as a Husky, saw him quickly assert himself among both the province's and country's most dangerous scorers. In his first game with George Brown, Agard scored a pair of pretty of goals, setting the tone for the year. He finished the outdoor season with nine goals and a provincial bronze medal, a warm up for what was a truly dominant indoor season run that resulted in an OCAA championship. Agard scored a tournament-best six goals and was named the Championship MVP for his performance at the provincial championship, capping the indoor season with five tournament wins in six entries and nearly 20 goals.
"We really became like a family at George Brown this year, those guys are my brothers and we feel unstoppable heading into next season," said Agard.
At last week's awards banquet, Agard was named George Brown's Male Athlete of the Year, a fitting cap to a memorable season. Heading into the 2017-18 campaign, George Brown plans on returning the vast majority of a program that is coming off its most successful season in years. Agard's continued growth as a player bodes well for a Huskies soccer program that is quickly becoming a power.
"I was surprised to be announced Male Athlete of the Year," said Agard. "I've never experienced anything like that, and it's a great honour to be in the same league as a guy like Ajahmo Clarke and all of the great athletes here. Heading into next season, I truly feel like we are going to be a special team."
Source: George Brown College