We’re thrilled to announce that FirstPoint USA client, Matthew Wallace, has confirmed his place and is heading to Drury University in the Fall. Here, the former St Francis Xavier’s College student tells us some more about his sporting background, 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.
Matthew has had an extensive sporting career to date, stating in the past three years, he has played for three different clubs. Playing for TNS’ U16’s team and reaching the Welsh Cup Final; Matthew tells us he then went on to play, on loan, for Buckley Town, prior to returning to TNS to play for their Scholars and train with the First Team. After around six months, Matthew states he found the travelling to be too much, alongside taking his A-Levels, so he made the decision to finish off the season playing with his friends at Old Xavs, in a local U23 league. On the lead-up to the current season, Matthew tells us he made the move to Marshalls FC reserves team; playing the first two games, before being asked to play for the First Team for the remainder of the season, in the West Cheshire First Division.
With a lengthy sporting career behind him, Matthew tells us his favourite sporting memory to date was winning the Copa Catalunya, in front of 2-3,000 people in the Summer of 2016 with the TNS Scholars/Reserves team.
Matthew tells us that studying abroad, whilst continuing his soccer career, is something that he has been keen in pursuing for a number of years. Adding, that university in the UK is something that has never appealed to him.
Telling his family about the opportunity to study in America was “bitter-sweet”, Matthew states; “we were happy about me going, and achieving something I have really worked hard for over the years, but sad that I’ll spend most of my time halfway around the world.”
Securing a sports scholarship in the US is can be a lengthy, and sometimes confusing, process for many; we asked Matthew how he and his family found the process. He told us, “After signing with FirstPoint, everything was really simple and clear to follow. After getting my SAT results and playing in the Showcase, multiple coaches approached me afterwards, and more showed interest via email saying they had seen my footage; everything felt too good to be true.”
Having now committed to Drury University, we asked Matthew how he knew he was making the right decision. He stated, “Out of all of the offers I received, Drury felt like the best choice because of how welcoming all the staff were. I know the GLVC is a tough division, but I want to go over to the States for competition, so it seemed to suit me a lot. All of the facilities look excellent and the classes are perfect for me; they offer the Major I wanted and the class sizes are smaller, so I can get to know my lecturers on a first name basis. I loved the community vibe I got from Drury.”
Upon beginning his life as a student-athlete, Matthew tells us he is looking forward to starting his career fresh. He added, “I’ll get to show what I can do on a good stage, and compete at the highest possible level for me.”
Finally, we asked Matthew where he sees himself being in 10 years’ time. He told us he hopes to be a full-time professional footballer however, understands that anything can happen. So if that doesn’t come to fruition, Matthew states he would like to be working as a software engineer or a coach.
We’d like to thank Matthew for catching up with us. We’ll keep you updated on Matthew's progress throughout the scholarship process across our various social media platforms; Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.