We’re thrilled to announce that FirstPoint USA client, Connor Kennedy, has secured his place and will be heading to Marietta College this Fall. We recently caught up with the former Bluecoat Academy School pupil to find out some more about his sporting background, his reasons for wishing to pursue a sports scholarship in the US, and what he is most looking forward to upon beginning his life as a US student-athlete.
Connor tells us he has been playing soccer from a very young age, stating: “My ﬁrst football team was called Awsworth, [I joined] when I was 4 years old and I have played for many teams during my junior football years, in both the Saturday and Sunday leagues, until I was 16 years old. I really enjoyed the junior 7-a-side games until I moved to the full 11-a-side pitches at 11 years old, when I joined Rolls Royce FC (Saturday League) and Hucknall Sports (Sunday League). It was at this point that football became more serious and I loved the game even more. By the time the I was playing at U16’s my teams were Calverton (Sat) and Pegasus (Sun) and by the time I was ready to move to Men’s football, I had won 5 league titles, 6 cups and 2 county cups; achieving the double in my ﬁnal year.
Moving to men’s football last season has been a great experience and I played for a Semi-Professional club called Hucknall Town, who I had to say goodbye to so that I could leave to pursue my studies and ‘Soccer’ life in the USA!”
Studying in the US is something that has always been on the cards for Connor. He told us, “I have always wanted to play football abroad and often spoke to my parents about going to live in America – that’s why the last 2 family holidays have been in the USA. So, when my mother saw the advert for the FirstPoint USA soccer trials, it was a no-brainer that I would attend. Having passed the initial trials and attending a soccer day to be ﬁlmed for my proﬁle last year, I received the invite to the annual showcase event at St Georges Park before Christmas, where I got the chance to play in front of some American coaches. I was very happy with my performance on the day and a Coach from Marietta College was present and reached out to me straight away. Within a couple of weeks of the showcase event, I was skyping the Head and Assistant Coach of Marietta College with my parents to talk through their offer for me to join them from ‘The Fall’.
I have had a total of 7 ﬁrm offers from USA colleges for this coming academic year, from both 2-year and 4-year institutions however, my heart was always set-on Marietta College.”
Connor states that he drawn towards Marietta College by their strong focuses upon both academics and athletics. Adding, “I suppose the attraction of studying and living in America, whilst developing my football skills, is the part I am most looking forward to. I chose Marietta College because they have a magniﬁcent educational programme which made the college very intriguing and attractive to me. They also have a great football programme which I look forward to joining.”
Connor also notes, the staff at Marietta have been extremely friendly so far, have assisted him throughout the process, and have made him feel very welcome. Stating, “I had lots of conversations with other head coaches whilst I was deciding but, the coaches at Marietta showed that they really wanted me and discussed in detail how they saw me ﬁt in their team formation and way of playing - this made my ﬁnal decision easy in the end.”
We asked Connor where he sees himself being in 8 years time. He tells us, he hopes to be playing in the MLS professional soccer league, as this has been a dream from a very young age. However, if this does not work out, Connor would like to see himself coaching at a high level professionally, as this will allow him to pass on all of the knowledge he has learnt - perhaps this will be as soccer coach at an American college university!
Finally, Connor shared with us how he has found the process of working with FirstPoint USA, in order to secure a sports scholarship in the US. “The FirstPoint USA process has been a life changer for me, as it is helping me achieve my dream. The staff have been really helpful through the whole process and are always free to talk, guide and help me if I have any questions. Especially Craig Hughes, who has helped and guided me through everything that I have needed to do, as well as give informed advice when I had to choose the right college for me.”