Ahead of England’s match against Northern Ireland this evening, we are excited to share Soccer Assist athlete Aimee’s story!
Aimee will be a flag bearer at this evenings game at St Mary’s Stadium. Based not far from the ground in Winchester, Aimee plays for local team Stoneham AFC.
At just 15 years old Aimee impressed us out one of our London trials last summer. Going up against older girls and showcasing her technical abilities, Aimee convinced us that she would have no problems earning a scholarship to play in America.
Aimee will continue her studies and football here in the UK before looking to fly out to the States in 2024.
You have been selected to be part of the FA Women’s England Talent Pathway, tell us about that.
I was selected last year for a trial but unfortunately I didn’t make it through to the next round. I’ve been selected again this year though and it went really well. The standard on the day was really good and it was tough but I was very pleased with my performance. I haven’t heard back yet but I’ve got my fingers crossed.
Why have you chosen the American collegiate pathway?
I know a lot of professional footballers in the women’s game have taken this route. It really is a once in a lifetime opportunity too and a great way to develop and get your name out there.
What is your ultimate goal in football?
Ultimately I want to play for the Lionesses. But I just love football, so being a part of the game in some way will be great.
Going to University means I can also get a degree in sport. I think it’s very important to get that education alongside playing football and I know that how it works in America is if you don’t keep your grades up then you won’t be able to play – So that’s a huge motivation for me.
Tell us about a time you faced an obstacle or challenge playing football as a female?
At school and maybe at the park I have faced discrimination and comments like “Oh you’re a girl you can’t play football”. But when you play well you show them they are wrong.
I started playing in boys teams and I found that the players don’t trust you with the ball. But with practice and determination I showed a bit of flair and people backed off a bit. It made me stronger.
How do you manage your time between school and football?
Training is on Tuesday evenings for me with matches on the weekend. So it doesn’t get in the way of studying. But I also like to do additional training sessions by myself. I do some high intensity workouts and muscular endurance training at home.
What sacrifices have you made to get to where you are today?
I think the decision to go to America is a big one. It’s a big step moving away from home and even though I will be getting a scholarship and paying less than what I might be if I went to University here, it’s still an investment.
So anything I can do to help achieve my goals, that might mean sacrificing parts of my social life, I am willing to do. But I have to remember that balance is also key.
What advice would you give to girls your age who might consider take the US Route?
Go for it! Be brave. If I can do it, so can you. It could be one of the best experiences of your life so enjoy it. I’m really excited.
Stay tuned for our next rising star Caitie Jones, living her dream by playing for the team she supports before heading to America next summer.