We’re thrilled to announce that FirstPoint USA client, Josh Winton, has confirmed his offer and is headed to Grand View University. Josh will be moving out to the States to join the Vikings roster this Fall. We recently caught up with Josh and he shared with us some more information about his sporting history, how he and his family found the process of pursuing a soccer scholarship in the US, and what he is most looking forward to upon beginning his life as a student-athlete at Grand View.
Hailing from Greenock, Josh is a former pupil of Port Glasgow High School and is a currently studying towards his for his HNC at West College Scotland. Josh tells us that since a young boy, he has always played soccer. Josh began playing at his local club, Port Glasgow Juniors, and whilst there received Player of the Year and Players’ Player of the Year on numerous occasions, as well as twice earning Top Goal Scorer. At the age of 11, Josh tells us he was scouted for St Mirren, where he spent the best part of a year. From there, Josh went to Hamilton Accies; spending time at Dundee United and Queen's Park, prior to signing for Greenock Morton. In 2016, Josh left Morton to play locally again; through this he went on to be selected for the Regional team, as well as the National Regional team.
With an impressive sporting career behind him to date, we asked Josh to tell us about his favourite sporting memory to date. He stated, “My favourite moment to date, playing football, would have to be playing for the National Regional side against an Australian select, and having all my family there to watch. My favourite sporting experience, when at a game of football, would be when Maurice Edu scored a last minute winner against Celtic to more or less wrap up the league for Rangers; I was at the game and the atmosphere was just surreal.”
Choosing to move around the world for university is a huge decision, however, Josh tells us it is something that he and his family have always had in their mind. He states that he has always wanted to play soccer at a high level, but also wishes to have a career within the sporting industry – whether that be coaching, physiotherapy or anything in-between. Pursuing a sports scholarship will provide Josh with the perfect opportunity to combine playing and studying.
From the moment the opportunity to study and play in the States arose, Josh tells us that his family and girlfriend have been incredibly supportive. He stated, “They know it’s a great chance for me, to go and study in the USA, and also what I can get from it. I have to say a special mention to my Mum and Dad, as well as my girlfriend; without them, doing this would have been very, very hard. But, as I mentioned, my whole family have pushed me to get this far, and I can’t wait to get started.”
Obtaining a sports scholarship in the US can be a lengthy, and at times confusing, process – we asked Josh how he found it. “The process of obtaining a scholarship was very straightforward with the help of everyone at FirstPoint. Of course, it is stressful in stages. There can be some waiting about on paperwork, in which some of mine is still in the process but, everything is given in detail, and the staff are very responsive and helpful to any problems. Also, I should mention the Showcase day a t St George’s Park which is a surreal experience in itself! Overall, FirstPoint have been brilliant.”
Having now made his commitment to Grand View University, Josh tells us how he knew that was the ‘right fit’ for him. “After my video went online, I started to receive a number of offers. It was really hard, and also very daunting for my family and myself. In the end, when I sat down and ticked the boxes that would suit me, Grand View always stuck out. I feel the Head Coach, Blair Reid, was also a very big influence; he had a great interest in not only my football, but also my general life and how things at Grand View would suit me, which was great. After various video calls with Blair and my family, we decided that Grand View was the place that would suit my aspirations in the USA.”
We asked Josh what he was most looking forward to upon beginning his life as a Viking student-athlete. He stated the main thing he was excited for was the experience as a whole; being able to study in the US, to meet lots of new people and to see lots of new places. Josh is also eager to develop as a player throughout his time at Grand View, as well as to learn from a number of international athletes – overall, it will be an amazing experience.
Finally, as we often do, we asked Josh to tell us where he sees himself being in 10 years’ time. He stated that he hopes to be playing football professionally. However, if not, he hopes to be able to pursue a career in the sporting world, hopefully using the degree he earns whilst studying out in the USA.
We’d like to thank Josh for catching up with us. We’ll keep you updated on Josh's progress throughout the scholarship process across our various social media platforms; Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.