Staff Profile - Simone Enrici
4 min read
This week, we caught up with our clearing team's Simone Enrici, to discuss his time in The States on a soccer scholarship at Martin Methodist College, a NAIA school: 1.Hi Simone, can you tell us a bit about your sporting background? I played football for various clubs at youth level including Raith Rovers, then went onto Reid Kerr football college, hopeful of finding a pro contract. 2. Why did you apply to FirstPoint USA? I wanted to gain a scholarship to the US to further my academic and sporting achievements. A few friends/coaches recommended FirstPoint USA as they had been through the process, having had a good experience with the staff. 3. What was your experience like with FirstPoint USA? I had a positive experience with FirstPoint. I kept in touch throughout my time in the US and eventually came back to begin working for the company after my five years in America. 4. What offers were you made and why did you decide on NAIA soccer college, Martin Methodist? I had some interest from Colleges/Uni's in Texas, North Carolina, and Tennessee however, Martin Methodist was a standout offer. One of my best mates had just gone there the year before which influenced my decision. To play in the NAIA or NCAA was never an issue, I had done my homework on both. I knew the NAIA had quality academic and soccer programs. 5. What were your impressions of the quality of facilities, coaching etc? The facilities and coaching were both very impressive, a massive step up from anything I had experienced before. The amount of money in US college sport blew me away. The facilities were second to none, our home pitch was one of the best I have ever played on. 6. What did you achieve academically and athletically whilst in the US? Academically, I achieved a B.S. Degree in Physical Education. Athletically, throughout my four years playing, we won the TranSouth conference, conference tournament, progressed to elite 8 at Nationals for the first time in the college's history. I had a few individual awards such as All-Conference selection. I began coaching local club teams in my second year whilst working through my US coaching badges. 7. How did you balance and manage your time between your studies, training and social life? During season you don't have much time to yourself with the schedule of playing two games per week, training every day and making sure you are passing all your classes. It was difficult at first settling into life as a full time student athlete however, after a month or so, I adjusted well and never had any issues. You can balance it all as long as you are organised and committed to both your academics and your sport. 8. What advice would you have for any young athlete considering a sports scholarship to the USA? If you want to gain an education and play your sport at a high level, America gives you the opportunity to pursue both. My best advice would be to work hard out there and enjoy every second of it. I would love to do it all over again. 9. What made you want to work for FirstPoint USA? What is your role at the company? What is your favourite part of the job? It was always something that interested me. I had kept in touch with FirstPoint throughout my time in the US. Being a former client, and using FirstPoint to recruit players as assistant coach, I knew the process well. I started as a consultant, which was a great experience bringing on talented athletes on our program. I have recently moved to the clearing department working on eligibility and promotion for our clients. My favourite part of the job would have to be that it is sport related. 10. Do you think you have made the right choice by studying in the USA? 100%, it has been the best decision of my life! 11. What do you think are the benefits of having a USA Scholarship experience compared to a UK education? I considered University here in the UK, however, the combination of the full time football (soccer) and education made me favour a scholarship in the US. Playing with Internationals from all over the world, in the full time environment, really improved me as a player. It is also made me become more independent and mature as an individual being away from home.