A TEENAGER from Skelmersdale has gained a college football scholarship in the USA.
Olly Byrne is to start this month at the highly-regarded Neosho Community College in Kansas.
Olly, who trains with 7 Elite Academy in Liverpool, said: “Anthony Godfrey, who is the 7 Elite Academy technical director, pulled me and a few of the other lads into the office at college.
“We thought we were in trouble at first! But when he told us what we would be doing over the next six months, it was a real mix of emotions. We were all made up of course, but also nervous about what was coming up.”
A few weeks later, Olly and his team-mates – Jack Pearce, Dylan Seddon and Lucas Allan were on their way to Utah to train with their 04 SABA team-mates.
It was the start of a remarkable six months, that would include intense coaching, tournaments and university visits.
Olly said: “In total I did five trips that included multiple cities and states such as Salt Lake City, Florida, North Carolina, Las Vegas, St George, Richmond and Nevada. The other lads did a similar number.
“We played in a lot of really high-quality tournaments and the players we met, both on our team and in other teams, we absolutely brilliant. We formed bonds and made memories that will last a lifetime.”
Once back home Olly soon learned the good news that he had been offered a scholarship at Neosho.
Olly now lives in the town of Chanute, while studying over the next two years. If all the conditions are met, he will have the option of playing and studying in the United States for a further two years.
Olly added: “My family were over the moon when I started getting scholarship offers. They pushed me as much as they could and supported me in chasing my dreams.
“I am so grateful for that they have done. They are my Number One supporters.”