|Club||Darren Edgar||Oxford City||Oxford||UK|
|High School||Des Williams|
|Secondary Positions||D, F, CF|
2015/16 season (under 13): Won the Wiltshire FA County Cup with Greenmeadow FC and were semi-finalists in the u14 league cup. Received highest number of commendations from opposition managers for a defensive player in the Junior Premier League. Selected to play for the English Schools Football Association (ESFA) Vale of the White Horse District Association squad.
I am an American citizen who was born and brought up in the UK and Spain (my mother is Dominican-American and my father is British, so I also have UK and Dominican Republic citizenship). I would like to go to college in the US because it provides a balance between high level academic study and high level sport: a combination which is currently unavailable in the UK. I would relish the opportunity to work and play hard in an environment that stretches and improves me both academically and sportingly.
I have played soccer at first division youth level in the UK for the past four years and have also been a member of my district association and county soccer squads during that period, which is the highest possible level of youth soccer in the UK outside a professional academy. I have also played in representative teams in which we won matches against professional academy sides, and I have been selected to play alongside England international youth players in my county sides. This season I have captained my u18 teams, although I am the youngest player, because I am vocal, encourage my teammates, and never give up.
Hopefully, my combination of both soccer and academic abilities, and my experience in learning how to play soccer outside the US makes me different from many other college recruits. I also find that I am unusual in my peer group in that I not only enjoy playing in soccer matches, but I also enjoy training hard at other times (I currently train at soccer ~12 hours a week both individually and with my three teams). I strongly believe in deliberate practice to build on my strengths and remedy my weaknesses, which is an approach that works for me in both sport and academic studies.
The following performance data were collected in the 2017/18 season by a Playertek GPS that I wore for most matches:
- Selection for the Oxfordshire u14 County soccer team alongside England youth internationals (I have been selected to play at County/District level at all ages from u13 through to u16).
- Winning the Oxford Mail soccer league with Kennington Athletic at u14 and u15, and winning the league cup and inter-league cup with the same team at u15.
- Winning two county cups in different counties at u13 (Wiltshire County Cup) and u14 (Oxfordshire County Cup).
- Passing all my IGCSEs and GCSEs to a reasonably high standard, despite taking them one to two years earlier than my peers.
- Being asked to sign for the Cheltenham Town Category 3 professional football academy after only trialling for a week.
- Living in Spain between the ages of 7 and 11 and learning Spanish.
I would like to go to college in the US because it provides a balance between high level academic study and high level sport: a combination which is currently unavailable in the UK. I would relish the opportunity to work and play hard in an environment that stretches and improves me both academically and sportingly.
I understand that all players make mistakes and we all fail from time to time. I have demonstrated leadership on and off the field on occasions when we have either failed collectively as a team, or have made individual mistakes that cost us a win. I have done this on the pitch directly after the mistake has been made by being positive and giving positive encouragement, which in my experience has really helped get everyone motivated again. After the match I try to show leadership in the changing room by comforting team mates and helping them to identify all the things we did well in a match (there are always some, even when the overall performance is poor). I also try to follow this approach when I am the person who has failed.
In England the Football Association follows what they call the "four corner model". This model assesses players according to their technique, physical qualities, psychological profile, and social interactions. I try to pursue healthy athletic performance in all four of these "corners" by i) high volume and/or intensity deliberate practice, ii) healthy eating and gym work, iii) tactical analysis and practice of emotional control, and iv) practice of positive interactions with team mates, coaches and officials.
My family has set up a local charity called "Faringdon Free Food", which plants fruit trees and shrubs on publicly owned land. A forthcoming initiative is to plant up part of a sensory garden for people who are experiencing mental health issues. These efforts are important to me because they help me to engage with different types and ages of people. They also help to take me out of the "bubble" of thinking only about myself and show me how lucky I am in life when compared to many other people.