1. Can you tell us a bit about your sporting background? Iíve been playing football since the age of 6, starting out representing a local team in Cheshire, Winsford Diamonds Football Club. Then throughout the next few years I continued to represent local clubs at high levels such as Witton Albion FC and Holmes Chapel FC. From the age of 14-18 I represented my district, Mid Cheshire, and also my county, Cheshire County Football. Over the past year I represented Northwich Victoria Football Club at Youth and Reserve Levels, where we faced other pro clubs such as FC United of Manchester & Morecambe. I have tried to develop as much as possible over the past 2 years, to get myself ready to compete in the USA. 2. What originally made you choose FirstPoint USA, and are you still glad that you did? After first have the idea of a soccer scholarship planted in my head by a friend, I decided to do a little research online to what it would entitle. After finding out more information, I came across various companies, with FirstPoint USA being the most informative. The company has a great reputation and sent me a brochure with a click of a button. After reading through everything FirstPoint USA had to offer, they were clear favourites and my family and I were more than happy to go ahead and book an assessment day. I am more than happy with the excellent services I have received throughout my time with FirstPoint USA, and still glad that I chose them. 3. What has been your highlight of being with FirstPoint? My highlight throughout my time being with FirstPoint has to be the Showcase event they held in December 2012.† The showcase gave us players a chance to pay in front of lots of American coaches allowing everyone to showcase their talents. The event was extremely well organised and gave me the chance to go to several meetings to learn more about American soccer, what university life would be like and what I would need to do to be ready for the day I leave for the states. The quality of football was to a top standard and definitely brought out the best in everyone! That little bit of competition, to impress the coaches, seemed to bring out the best in all the players. 4. Are you happy with the offers you received, and what made you choose Salem? I received quite a few offers, from New York, Kentucky, North Carolina and West Virginia. I was contacted by coaches all offering, in their own way, fantastic offers all hard to turn away, as every university/college had something great to offer me. In the end I opted for Salem International University in West Virginia. After speaking for a lengthy period of time with the Coach, listening to what he had to offer and his ambitions for the team and my role next year, it won me over, and I was more than happy to accept the offer. 5. What are you looking forward to the most about moving to the USA? Iím most looking forward to meeting the team and coach and beginning training as soon as I can. Iím extremely excited to get out to Salem and starting playing soccer. Iím also looking forward to general university living, and taking my soccer and studies seriously so that I can continue to develop my soccer and earn a degree alongside it. ? 6. How are you preparing for your student-athlete lifestyle? To prepare for the student athlete lifestyle I have been hitting the streets running and gym a lot, using training regimes I received from FirstPoint USA & Salem. These are helping me develop my fitness levels (which I know is going to be huge part of playing over in America!), strength, and endurance! The fitter and stronger I get the more I will be ready to tackle what the USA has to offer. ?7. Would you recommend FirstPoint USA? I would 100% recommend FirstPoint USA to potential recruits as they offer such a wide range of services, with a personal consultant helping you through the process step by step, which can become rather complicated. To have instructions and tips to guide you through as well as a consultant who is available to answer any questions you may have along the way makes a lengthy and complicated process that little bit simpler. ?8. What advice do you have for anyone considering applying for a sports scholarship? If youíre serious about wanting to take your sports and academics seriously, then a sports scholarship is for you. The facilities and opportunities are second to none. If you do consider going ahead with applying, my advice to you is to do the simple things well, and the rest will follow. Hard work beats talent when talent doesnít work hard!
FirstPoint USA would like to thank Matthew for taking the time to answer our questions, and wish him the best of luck in the USA!
Do you think you have what it takes to secure a scholarship to study in the USA while playing your favourite sport?†Apply now!