Congratulations to former Stoke City striker, Tom Shepherd, on signing a scholarship deal with West Virginia University. The Wales U19 International will be aiming for the top of the goal-scoring charts in NCAA Division I competition next season.
Tom comes from Knutsford, Cheshire. He has previously attended Knutsford Academy and Stoke City Academy. Tom has had an impressive soccer career, playing for Wales at both U17 and U19 levels, whilst simultaneously playing with Stoke City FC from U14 through to U18.
Tom has had many successes on the pitch from winning the Adidas Generation Cup in Dallas with his team at U16 level, to taking part in the Hong Kong Soccer Sevens in 2015 with the Stoke City U21 team. However, Tom states his best sporting experience to date to be representing Wales against Germany in Dusseldorf in 2015. Despite not winning the game, Tom said this was a great experience to play against one of the best teams in the world at international level.
Tom was initially attracted to studying in the states due to the opportunity it would give him to play football at a high level, whilst also working towards earning a degree. We asked Tom why he chose to attend the West Virginia University opposed to elsewhere and he had this to say…
“I chose the university because of the commitment to excellence both on the pitch and in the classroom. The campus and location sells itself and all the staff from West Virginia that I worked with during the recruitment process were very good with me, making me feel very comfortable right away.”
In 10 years time, Tom hopes to have a strong football career, getting to a high enough level to be able to get some more international caps under his belt, and regularly play against the best players in the world.
We wish Tom the best of luck in scholarship, both his studies and playing career at WVU.