We recently caught up with FirstPoint athlete, Ralph Slaney, who is one of the newest soccer players to join our ranks. Hailing from West London, Ralph moved to Norfolk at a young age; currently living in Diss, and a student of Diss High School. Here, Ralph shares with us some more about his sporting background, his reasons for wishing to pursue a sports scholarship in the States, and what he is most looking forward to upon beginning his life as a US student-athlete.
Ralph tells us he has played for a number of clubs throughout his sporting career, starting with Bury Town; he began playing as a midfielder, but was moved to a centre-back at U12’s, where he has since remained. Following on from Bury, Ralph had a spell at both Moreton Hall and Ipswich Town’s PDP, prior to his move to Framlingham, from U12 – U14, in addition to spending time at Scole United, Diss Town and Eye Saints. Currently, Ralph is with Bury Town’s U18’s; playing and training with the U23’s and First Team.
With a lengthy sporting career behind him, we asked Ralph to tell us about his favourite sporting memory to date. He tells us, “One of my most memorable sporting experiences was my U16’s season for Eye Saints. I scored a total of 13 goals in all competitions from centre-back; mostly all set piece headers. [Additionallly,] I also broke the all-time high jump record at my high school.”
Ralph states, “I’ve always wanted to play football at the highest level possible. However, the most important thing is to make sure I secure a solid education for the future. I believe the States offers an amazing, once in a lifetime opportunity; allowing me to study and play football at a very high level.
“I’m most looking forward to meeting new and talented athletes, while receiving top coaching; which, in turn, will allow me to become a much better player. Also, to have the opportunity to secure a degree as well, is an amazing opportunity.”
As we often do with our new athletes, we asked Ralph to tell us about his top three sportspeople of all time. He told us...
“Cristiano Ronaldo is one of my idols, and someone I look up to because of his work rate and, overall, how seriously he takes his football; implementing it into his whole life, and taking every sacrifice to make sure he is the best. I’ve always had a similar mentality, and I believe this is because of him. He never gives up and is filled with confidence; there is no one better.
John Terry is also one of my idols because of the way he commands the back-four; he takes control and passes on his experience. As a centre-back myself, the qualities he possess are exactly how I want to be in my game.
Lastly, Steven Gerrard is another idol of mine because of the way he captained the Liverpool side, and how he took on the responsibility and thrives within the team. That’s something I feel I can implement into my game.”
Finally, we asked Ralph where he sees himself being in 10 years’ time. He told us, in an ideal world, he’s love to be playing football for a professional club; either in the UK or the USA; and pursuing an American sports scholarship could be the first step towards this. However, if that does not work out, Ralph tells us that he would love to be playing football at the highest level possible, while having a job he enjoys, and using the degree he will obtain from a US college.
We’d like to thank Ralph for catching up with us. We’ll keep you updated on Ralph's progress throughout the scholarship process across our various social media platforms; Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.