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Welcome to the first instalment of our new series where we catch up with players that we have helped earn a scholarship to study and play soccer at college in America.

First up we speak to Ellie Sargeant from Milton Keynes. Ellie flew to Louisiana this summer (2022) to play for the Ragin Cajuns, the NCAA Division 1 team of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

Ellie was part of the Tottenham Hotspurs U23s squad and despite her strong footballing CV she attended a Soccer Assist trial in Summer 2021.

Having impressed with her attitude as well as skills, Ellie was offered a place on the Soccer Assist programme. We then began to build her highlights tape in order to send to coaches across America.

There was a lot of interest shown in the powerful centre-mid, but it was at a showcase match at St. Georges Park last December where Ellie caught the attention of the head coach of the Ragin Cajuns. She was quickly offered a full scholarship at the University where she would be able to study her chosen subject and play the game she loves.

Firstly, why did you choose to go to America to play football?

“I chose to go to America to study as well as play football, something that is not as easy to do in the U.K. America I feel gives you opportunities. It has given me the opportunity to balance school and football all at a high level. I am also excited to experience a new culture and meet new friends from around the world.”

How have you found training over in America?

“Training in America is different, but good.  I’m enjoying it and I enjoy learning the ways that they play the game over here.
Training is a lot faster, more physical with more demand on your body. There are additional gym sessions which really help players develop. Pre- season as you can imagine was tough. There were a lot of early morning starts – 6:30am most days – with those gym sessions that follow. It was fun though, there was a lot of team building activities to feel included and to be able to form new friendships.”

How are you settling in to college/university life?

College life is enjoyable, there is a lot to do. There is also a lot of different events to take part in on campus. Our team also helped with the move in day which was great. As you can imagine its tough flying over with your stuff and moving into dorms. But it was exciting and having people there to help made me feel better and welcome.

What’s been your favourite part about college in America?

“My favourite part of the experience so far is of course the football side. Being able to train every day whilst managing studies is great. I know I keep saying it but also most importantly are the friendships I have made already and am still making. People here are so nice and I feel so included and content. “

Tell us about the education side of things

I’m studying to be a secondary PE teacher. Classes and studying is different to how I imagined it would be. I have to take core classes that I haven’t taken for 2 years. Like History, Music, Communications and a Univ which is an athletic course we have to do!
It’s enjoyable and I’m keeping on top of my homework. It’s a lot to balance with football and the schedule but we have support and we all get through it together.
You can follow in Ellie’s footsteps and start your journey to college in America by attending one of our upcoming football trials this October.
Our next women’s trial takes place on Wednesday 26th October in Milton Keynes.
Find out more by clicking here or call us on 01908  103 086
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