American dream for Merrie City footballers

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TWO young footballers from Wakefield have achieved their dream of going Stateside to continue their development in ‘the beautiful game’.

Crigglestone’s Carina Fuller and Normanton’s Josh Oldroyd have both been offered four-year scholarship deals in America starting in August.

Fuller, 18, has been accepted into Delaware State University and Oldroyd, also 18, will take his scholarship at Bryan College in Tennessee.

The duo will continue their football development at their respective college’s alongside three-year Major courses, with the first year allowing them time to decide which Major to take up.

They got the chance to go Stateside through Sporting Chance USA and the scholarships include all tuition fees, accommodation, food and insurance.

Fuller said: “I had heard that there were excellent opportunities to be had in the US College system, and I thought rather than go to an English university, I would give the US a try.

“The great thing about playing in America is that you get to train six days a week on some of the best facilities in the world, and at the end of it, you come out with a full degree, which will help me with my future career.

“Sporting Chance USA told me that I would have a great chance of landing a top scholarship award as I had good academic grades and fortunately that has been the case.”

The duo signed up to Sporting Chance USA in the last academic year and received numerous offers from US colleges.

Oldroyd said: “I was going to do it last year because I knew some people who were already doing it.

“They gave me some great reviews of it and I decided to go through with it this year and I can’t wait.

“I got a few offers and I was all set to accept one at a college in West Virginia, but I looked at Bryan College and looked at the football coaches they had there and decided it was the one that suited me the most.”

Oldroyd has just completed A-Levels in ICT, Sport and Design and Technology at Pontefract New College, where he also won both the Sports Personality of the Year and Sportsman of the Year awards.

He started his football career with junior side Normanton Athletic at the age of six.

He went on to represent Wakefield and District Schools where he was scouted by Huddersfield Town and joined their Academy.

A move to Leeds United’s Academy followed for the goalkeeper before he returned to play for Normanton Athletic FC and most recently at Altofts.

While studying at New College, he captained their football team in the British Colleges Soccer League.

Fuller, who achieved a BTEC National Diploma in Sport and Exercise Science at Huddersfield New College, has also enjoyed similar experience in the early years of her career.

The defender started out at Durkar Devils aged 7 before moving on to the prestigious Leeds United FC Women’s Centre of Excellence, where she remained until she was 16.

She also represented West Yorkshire Schools and is currently a member of Leeds Vixens, where she plays for the club’s first team and reserve team.

The duo will make the trip across the Atlantic in August to take their places with their respective colleges.

And they’ll start a tough pre-season schedule almost immediately after their arrival ahead of the start of the new academic year.

See this week’s Wakefield Express Sport to read the article in full and for all the latest sports news from around the district.