A North East footballer is jetting off to the states after securing a footballing scholarship to an American university.
Sarah Withers of Church High School in Newcastle, who plays for Walbottle FC, is heading to the University of South Carolina Beaufort this month to begin her studies.
The prestigious football scholarship was secured through the PASS4Soccer Network.
“I have always wanted to go to the US ever since I was little,” said Sarah. “I have heard such good things about going to the US for university.
“Women’s football is highly competitive and popular in the US in comparison to the UK.
“I am most looking forward to going to a new country to help progress my football.”
Sarah will play for the Sand Sharks soccer team at the university, which is based on the coast in South Carolina. She will combine her university studies alongside playing high level football for the next four years.
“I chose University of South Carolina Beaufort (USCB) because not only does it have a successful football team, but also offers subjects I wish to study,” she added.
“USCB is situated in a beautiful area too, right on the coast.”
During this summer’s World Cup, 11 of the 23 US men’s national team players took up similar scholarships in the US university system.
PASS4Soccer every year help around 100 students find football scholarships in the US. Similar level scholarships are not widely available in the UK.
Places are now available for students seeking to enter a US university soccer programme in August 2015 and 2016.
PASS4Soccer will be holding trials in Newcastle in September, and interested players must register online at www.PASS4Soccer.com .