A YOUNG footballer from Bourne has headed off to the USA after landing a college scholarship.
Centre half Mark Shrosbree, 18, secured a place at Emmanuel College in Rome, Georgia. He will play for the college’s team, the Lions.
He left for the states yesterday and if all goes to plan will be there for the next year studying and playing football.
Before going, Mark said: “It’s great to be going out there and it’s a great opportunity. Hopefully I will play as well as I’m expected to do.
“There will be training or a match every day except Sunday and we’ll be studying.
“This is as close as I’ve ever been to being a professional. It’s full time training, personal fitness coaches, dietary plans, everything.”
Mark, of Lindsey Close, Bourne, has landed an 80 per cent scholarship through PASS4soccer, a not-for-profit organisation which helps students find American soccer scholarships.
The scheme says Mark secured the place through his academic achievements and athletic ability
He will be studying sports management while he’s out there.
However, there is some pressure as the scholarship can be reduced or withdrawn if he doesn’t continue to reach the expected standards.
The 6ft 2in defender last turned out for Bourne Town Football Club’s first team last year and Stamford AFC’s under 21 development squad.
He found out about the scheme through a teacher at Bourne Academy. He went along for a trial and they then advertised him to colleges in America. Last year he was invited to a trial and was picked up by Emmanuel College.
Major League Soccer is the main football league over the water and every year players from colleges go through the draft system in the hope of being picked up by a club.
The league now boasts former world class stars such as David Beckham and Thierry Henry.
Such thoughts are a distant dream for Mark for now and he says he is looking forward to playing and studying.
He also thanked Harvey Taylor at Universal Fitness Centre in Bourne for helping him develop a training programme.
Mark says it is cheaper for him to study in America through a scholarship than pay the £9,000 university fees here in the UK.