Finding a professional club for the Canadian Men's College Soccer Tour's Player of the Year shouldn't be too complex a task in normal times.
However, it was not easy to find the right team for the recipient of this distinction in 2021, Quebecer Guy-Frank Essomé Penda. However, we must not believe that there was no interest in the product of the Carabins of the University of Montreal, quite the contrary. Rather, it was a very special request from the player that made Marie L'Allier's task more complex.
“He is a very serious athlete in relation to his studies, indicated the agent and co-founder of AMA Sports Management. He did a master's degree [in computer engineering]. It was a bit of a mystery whether he wanted to make the jump to the pros. When I first approached him about it, he told me his priority was to go to New Zealand!”
But why this country of Oceania? For love ! Essomé Penda wanted to settle in the same place as his girlfriend, who will soon be starting a doctorate at the University of Auckland.
“I said to him: “Ok perfect, I will see how I can help you”. It was still quite a challenge, because I did not have a lot of contact in this very distant corner of the planet, ”said the lawyer by training.
Never mind, Marie L'Allier rose to the challenge brilliantly by finding the perfect place for her client: Auckland United FC.
Go on an adventure
"It's pretty amazing what's happening to me. I am very grateful for the efforts made by Marie,” said Essome Penda, who was reached by phone in New Zealand.
Arriving in Auckland around three weeks ago, the one whose new club even helped him land a day job as an engineer has already started to establish his mark and found the back of the net once in two games.
Essomé Penda, who has also played in the Premier League Soccer of Quebec (PLSQ) in recent years, also thinks that he will be able to do well in the New Zealand Premier League.
"I don't have a lot of experience here yet. But with what I've seen, I'd say it's stronger than the PLSQ and a little worse than the Canadian university championship.
“It is a level that is attainable for me. I am very excited. […] I will do everything I can to help the team win.”
Under contract until the end of the 2022 season, Essomé Penda is not closing the door to other experiences like this for the rest of his career as a professional athlete.
“We have a plan, but I want to see what will happen to me here. I have decided not to set myself a specific goal for the moment. I want to see how far this opportunity will take me.”
In other words, Marie L'Allier might still have to work her magic.