As the night draws in on this Wednesday evening, facing the prospect of watching Man City at home to Steaua in the Champions League, I thought, "What better time to write an update on the proceedings at SSU"...
Scholarship Sports USA has undergone large changes in the past few months, all aiding to the current success of our growing brand. This August, has been a hugely rewarding month on a more personal level, to see our players transfer across to the USA, and be so warmly received. Constantly receiving updates from head coaches who are beyond pleased with the player they have received. Some of our players have even played against international opposition this pre-season and travelled internationally for a training camp! Not only can they perform on the soccer field, but they are a credit to SSU off the field. We do things differently at SSU, we like our players to be exceptional on AND off the field. This brings the calibre of our players to a new level, and each time we receive a call or email it proves we are doing things the right way.
Establishing connections and contacts is just a small part of our job here. We like to build relationships, and having universities such as; Akron, Kentucky, Clemson, Syracuse, Louisville, Wake Forest, NC State et al. makes our job so much more enjoyable. Working with the best NCAA programs in the country, to give our players the best platform to succeed in life, is every bit as rewarding as it sounds. Once a player moves onto the US, we like to receive regular updates and keep a relationship, because we want them to feel we are always here to help.
Everyone at SSU has gone through the process, with a variety of outcomes, which allows us to understand each situation. We've put our heads together to come up with a substance that can give a player the space they desire, but the knowledge that we are here whenever they need us. The experience of playing soccer in the US is not always plain sailing and an article I came across from Jacksonville University's senior captain, Jack Burns (find article here), proves just how tough it can be. Our service never stops and I like to think it is one of several separating factors from those who offer a scholarship service to the US.
Looking ahead, we have our first Scandinavian assessment day penciled in for the 24th September, to be held at the Norrporten Arena, an 8,000 capacity stadium, home of Allsvenskan side, GIF Sundsvall. This will be our first venture into Sweden, and now that I reside and play football here I am extremely confident of finding wonderful talent. In Scandinavia you will find a very technical part of the world, where the players effortlessly control and spray the ball all over the park. A true hot-bed for future NCAA/NAIA success stories. A very exciting day is in store, of which everyone at SSU is excited and equally delighted to be apart of.
Over the next few months we'll be evaluating a plethora of talent around Europe in hopes of finding the right players who, 'tick all the boxes', for coaches in the USA. 2017, promises to be a big year for SSU, with international youth players already amongst the contingent ready to head Stateside this August. As always we will keep you updated via our Twitter @SSUSAOfficial and look forward to closing out 2016, how we started it, on the front foot and handling our service in the right manner.
See you all in September!