Following Damian O'Hare's
fantastic blog about his time so far in the USA, another of our talented young soccer
stars has been inspired to write his own!
Check out this excellent blog from Conor Vaughan
as he talks about his first impressions of his new home and University in Oklahoma :
by Conor Vaughan
"So I've now been in the States for a little under 6 weeks now and I would be lying if I said it wasn't difficult. I'm studying and playing football (soccer) at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma in Chickasha, Oklahoma.
I signed up to play here in the States with FirstPoint USA which is a company based in Glasgow city centre. After going for my initial trial with FirstPoint USA, I was contacted by Simone Enrici, who had previously been a student athlete in the U.S, to go for an interview.
After signing the contract with FirstPoint USA I played in client games to build up a video portfolio of footage. I also got the opportunity to play in the Showcase event in the London Soccer Dome in December '11.
Working with FirstPoint USA was a great experience for me as I got to work with some great people and I've made some great friends (one of which i stole the idea for the blog from - Sorry Damo!)
From first receiving interest to actually committing to a university, time seemed to fly by! I decided to go to USAO after looking at the school and having a lot of conversations with former students and with my Mother. After getting feedback from the FirstPoint USA Clearing team, I decided that USAO was the best fit for me. After about six weeks, I've seen nothing that changes my mind regarding that. I just wanted to say thank you to FirstPoint USA and it's staff (especially Simone, Craig, Aisling and Nicole) for giving me the opportunity to play football for the next four years.
Since arriving in the states the first thing that I had to get used to is the climate, going from the mid-teens of a Glasgow summer to 40+ Oklahoma is a challenge but the rewards are great....including a fantastic t-shirt tan! The most difficult thing for me has been the fitness levels...after six weeks I have dropped 20 pounds in weight and that number is still increasing. One piece of advice I would have for anyone that wants to head to the States is start running and cut out the junk! I had that advice but in all honesty, I never followed it and I've been paying for it since the first day of pre-season! Coming in to the team as a freshman goalkeeper is difficult as I'm stuck in an eternal battle to get myself into the squad... but to be the best, you have to beat the best, and so far due to my lack of fitness I haven't been able to do that.
Another major battle that you have to face is the homesickness, being so far away from all family and friends is difficult even with Skype and Facetime. It's not the same as being at home. I think that being part of a team and having people who are going through the same thing makes things a lot easier and things do get easier after the first couple of weeks.
I think over the next couple of weeks my number one objective is to be in the squad on more than one occasion. Working hard and having a team that is so close, and always there if you need them, helps massively and nothing i have done quite compares to coming out with the team to do the warm up at the "Drover Dome". I'll try to update the blog as much as time allows and keep you all up to date with my progress and the progress of the #5 in the country USAO Drovers. Cheers for giving this a read and if you have any questions drop me an email or a tweet."
If you want to follow Conor's blog you can check it out here
We would like to thank Conor for his kind words, and this insight into his time in the USA so far. Although he is enjoying the experience, it just goes to prove that you have to work hard to achieve your goals. Like many International athletes studying in the USA, Conor has underestimated the levels of fitness required and is regretting it now! Conors advice is invaluable : "start running and cut out the junk!"
We would like to wish Conor every success for his time in Oklahoma. We are confident he will be an asset to his team and his University.
If you would like to find out more about soccer scholarships to the USA, register with FirstPoint USA today!