YOUNG sportsmen and women in Warrington are being given a chance to pursue their dream of playing football in America.
Priestley College is teaming up with Soccer Scout USA to create opportunities for students to apply for scholarships across North America.
Tutor Dan Jordan, who has coached football in the US, said Priestley might even set up an annual American football tour if there was enough interest from students.
“A scholarship in America is an opportunity for them to be treated like a professional footballer whilst developing themselves academically by studying on a degree programme,” he said.
“More money is put into sport at that level than in the UK so they could be enjoying flights to their matches, benefitting from physios and psychologists as well as playing in front of crowds of thousands.”
Footballers at Priestley College will be able to create their own profiles on Soccer Scout USA’s website and upload videos of their skills.
Scouts in America use the website to recruit from England because the talent pool is so much stronger here.
Peter Antoniades, of Soccer Scout USA, will also visit Warrington to see the young players for himself.
Dan, who has previously coached across the Midwest, said there are as many opportunities for young women as there are for men in America.
“In terms of the general population it is a more popular sport for women than for men who tend to go into baseball, basketball or American football,” he said.
A four-year scholarship in America could see students pay much reduced university fees, however fully-subsidised education cannot be guaranteed.
Places will be competitive and no student will be certain of a spot abroad, but it is a new opportunity to create a career break in the sport.
Education remains a high priority for all applicants as the scholarships require success on and off the pitch.
So far, 20 students have shown an interest in pursuing the American dream and Dan believes they have the talent to succeed.
“A lot of our players have the potential to go far,” said Dan.