George Proctor has been a consistent starter on the backline since he arrived at Georgia State from his native England. But, he took his game to the next level last fall, scoring two goals, adding four assists, and contributing to six regular-season shutouts. Proctor was named Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year and helped guide the Panthers to a Sun Belt Conference final appearance. “Yeah, it’s obviously a great feeling to get recognition and pick up the awards, especially in my senior year,” Proctor told BGN. “My teammates play a huge role in me winning them as without my teammates beside me on the field I would be useless, so they play a huge role.”
While 2020 was Proctor’s senior season, the NCAA granted all athletes an optional extra year of eligibility due to COVID-19 and he decided back in August that he would be coming back for the 2021 season. “I think starting a Master’s degree will be a great back up and will help me outside of soccer,” he said.
In regards to his soccer journey, George explained, “I have another year here at Georgia State, so hopefully have another successful season, and win some more team and individual trophies. Then hopefully go on to play professionally whether that is here or back home in England.”
Proctor was named to the MAC Hermann watch list (the most prestigious individual award in NCAA soccer) and was listed at #41 on the Top Drawer Soccer’s Top 100 players, not surprising with goals like the one below in his arsenal.
— GSU Men's Soccer (@GSUMensSoccer) November 7, 2020
For the GSU fans, outside of consistent play from their star defender, what should they expect in the fall from their men’s soccer team? “I’m really excited for the fall. We have a talented group,” Proctor said. “Everyone has the ability to take the next step, whatever that may be. The freshman gained a lot of experience in the fall and have taken big strides in a short space of time. Also, we’ve got a couple guys back from injury now, so excited to play with them again.”
Now with four years under his belt playing in the United States, the Leeds, England native has a good feel for how the styles compare between the U.S. and the U.K. “The soccer style is pretty similar, the main difference is the culture,” he said. “In England everyone watches and knows about soccer whereas here it is still growing. Soccer has grown a lot in America since I first came here four years ago, and it is continuing to do so.”
On how the game can continue to grow here in the States, Proctor added, “The key for it to keep growing is for the USA men’s national and women’s team both to have big name players in their teams now so that is creating interest, and the MLS to keep signing big name players.”
George has also had four years now of spending time in Georgia off the pitch. He said his favorite American food that he can’t get back home is Chick-fil-A and that it’s his first stop when he gets back from England. His biggest misconception about America before he came here was the weather. “I thought it would always be hot, but that changed after I had my first winter here,” he said.
When the weather turns to fall in Atlanta, you can expect to George Proctor helping to lead a talented Panthers team on the quest for more trophies.