The Perfect Start!
Zac Gunaratnam-Bailey joined SSU in 2016, and has been nothing but a breath of fresh air. Whenever you ask him to get something sorted, you are always met with the response “consider it done”. He wasted no time in staying on top of the process. A 3.9 GPA student who thrives in the classroom as well as the soccer field. If every player was like Zac, our job would be so much easier!
Having signed for Louisiana State University Shreveport, ZGB made the transition from Oxford, England to the small town of Shreveport, LA. The university has not had a soccer team for the previous five seasons, but this is their comeback year, and after speaking with head coach Phillip Bohn, it was clear this opportunity was unique with a blueprint for success.
Training all summer with the SSU strength and conditioning program & attending pre-season with Aldershot Town, ZGB was in the best shape possible. Unfortunately, he managed to pick up a niggling knee injury, which has hampered his start at LSUS. Under the advice of the medical staff he was only permitted to play small minutes until he was fully recovered. Undeterred by his knee ZGB came on and scored on his debut in the Pilot’s 6-0 opening day rout of Central Baptist College.
Picking up the ball in midfield he played the ball in behind for the striker to run onto down the left hand side, who managed to turn, cut the ball back to ZGB, who placed his shot into the far corner with smallest of deflections helping the ball on its way. With 40 minutes under his belt, and a heavily iced knee, it would be nine days until the next outing for LSUS.
Fast forward to August 29th, the Pilot’s clash with Williams Baptist College was moved to TAMUT Soccer Field and brought forward a day due to the storms in the area. This gave ZGB one day less recovery time, and after intensive physio sessions before each practice, ZGB was eager to play, but coach Bohn was keen to keep him fit for the bigger tests down the road. Playing 25 minutes to keep him fresh, ZGB used the minutes to keep his sharpness and prepare for Millsaps College in ten days’ time.
Scoring on his LSUS debut was a significant moment for ZGB and one he will be sure to remember for years to come. This season is still very young, and once the Pilots get into the thick of the action, and ZGB can shake the knee trouble, the Pilots will have one heck of a player at their disposal.
ZGB has finally settled at LSUS and is looking forward to showing just what he can do. SSU are proud to call ZGB their player and want to wish him and this new program the best of luck for 2017. The future certainly looks bright for ZGB and SSU are proud to be apart of ZGB’s journey.
As ever, to stay up-to-date with Zac and the Pilot’s head over to Twitter and give us a follow @SSUSAOfficial.