Medal hopes for Fraser Valley boys soccer team

Abbotsford’s Gavin Gill one of four local soccer players on BC Games Fraser Valley boys team

Abbotsford’s Gavin Gill (right) and Chilliwack’s Benjamin Shumbusho are aiming to win gold for the Fraser Valley at the BC Summer Games.

Abbotsford’s Gavin Gill (right) and Chilliwack’s Benjamin Shumbusho are aiming to win gold for the Fraser Valley at the BC Summer Games.

Soccer has been a lifelong journey for Abbotsford’s Gavin Gill, and he’s ready to take the next big step in that quest at the upcoming BC Summer Games.

Gill has been on the pitch since the age of four, when he donned a Timbits soccer jersey, but starting on July 22 he’ll be representing the Fraser Valley at the Games.

“It’s a huge opportunity to represent your city and area,” he said. “I’m super excited and super pumped.”

For the past several weeks, Gill and the Fraser Valley team have been building chemistry on the MRC fields every Monday and Thursday evening. He said it’s been a step up and much more of a professional feeling than some of his earlier years in the sport.

“I’m loving it,” he said of the Games experience. “It’s been a lot of hard work but so much fun. If I wasn’t doing this I’d probably be sitting at home playing video games.”

Gill is one of four Abbotsford residents on the team, as he’s joined by Jasyjot Gahunia, Jovan Gill and Harjen Sidhu. Alex Newby, the team’s head coach, also hails from Abbotsford.

The Grade 10 Abbotsford Traditional Secondary School student said everyone in his family plays soccer and this past season, the centre-back suited up for the Fraser Valley Metro Selects team.

Chemistry has come a little easier on the team for Gill with his Metro teammate Benjamin Shumbusho, who plays right wing with Gill on the club team. Shumbusho, who calls Chilliwack home, said he has been constantly learning since he joined the Fraser Valley team.

“It’s been really good for me,” he said. “You’re playing with players who have better skill and you really learn something from playing with them on this team.”

Shumbusho said he followed in his brother’s footsteps into soccer.

“I started when I was five and my brother really inspired me,” he said. “I would try and copy whatever he was doing out there.”

He said effort will take the Fraser Valley team far, and he plans to bring home a medal.

“I don’t mind about whether I score or not,” he said. “It’s all about hard work and winning as a team.”

Gill said he likes the chances for the Fraser Valley team, noting that home pitch advantage could come into play.

“I think we’re going to do really well,” he said. “We’re a strong team and are really beginning to work well together. We’re in a tough pool to start but I think we will make it far.”

The boys soccer competition kicks off at 8:15 a.m. on July 22, with medals being handed out at 11:15 a.m. on July 24. All games take place at the MRC Sports Complex.