American dream for Lofts
5:30am Tuesday 8th July 2014 in By Tom Bassam, Chief sports writer
NEW College Swindon student Sam Lofts will be heading to America this summer to take up a prestigious football scholarship through the PassS4Soccer Network program.
Lofts, 19, has been playing for New College in the Hellenic League for the last three season and will be joining Lander University located in Greenwood, South Carolina in August to study for four years and play for their Bearcats football team.
The process of applying to American college’s and being assessed by their coaches has taken Lofts two years and lots of travel across the UK playing at Pass4Soccer’s showcase events.
Lofts and his family are delighted to have secured a soccer scholarship through the PASS4Soccer Scholarship Network.
“I attended their (PASS4Soccer) showcases around the UK, where you’re filmed playing and watched by coaches,” Lofts said.
“I chose to study in America because of the opportunity to learn and play soccer in a different environment. I believe the experience will help me to grow as an individual both educationally and on the pitch.
“Pass4Soccer helped put me in contact with a few colleges and I got a couple of choices. Lander was a bit different, I picked them out and emailed them myself, which we were encouraged to do.
“The coach seemed keen on having me there as a player as they have recruited a few players from the same area before.
“They also have a few English players which encouraged me to go even more because I believe they will be able to make me feel more at home as they are in the same position as me.
“I was delighted when I heard because it’s quite late in the year (for applications). My family and friends knew it had been a long process and they I wanted that one (Lander) so they were all really happy for me.
“Both my parents both left home at a younger age, my mum to come to England and my dad went abroad. It’s sort of like because I have heard a lot of stories from them that made me want to go really.
“They’re really supportive about me going, they know from their experiences how good an opportunity it is.”
Successful PASS4Soccer placements like Lofts can cover all of the tuition fees, accommodation and food and the company have now helped more than 900 students study and play football in America.
The program has also had a number of students going on to gain a professional contracts following their studies and two, Taylor Morgan and Jason Griffiths, who have also gone on to play in the MLS.
Places in the PASS4Soccer Network are now available for students seeking to enter in August 2015 and 2016. Interested players must register online at www.PASS4Soccer.com.