College Sport USA

My name is Sam Shaddick

I am a member of the Men’s Soccer Team at the University of Science and Arts in Oklahoma, USA.

I am originally from Stirling in Scotland and have been in the USA since August 2008 having been released by my home town team, Stirling Albion FC.

I was a member of the Stirling Albion Youth Academy system for over 8 years having started at U-12 level before progressing through the ranks to the U-19 squad.

I was a talented striker and took my career very seriously. I worked hard on my fitness and was always one of the last players to leave the training pitch. I think it is safe to say that I wanted to make the first team and go on to have a great career in the game.

As my final season progressed there were one of two players from my team who were always seemed to be selected for the bench at first team matches and admittedly this was a disappointment for me not to be involved at this level although I was thrilled for my team mates. I held talks with my coaches just before Christmas 2007 and they explained to me that I was unlikely to be offered a contract at the end of the season. I was naturally very disappointed as I felt that after nearly eight years at the club, all those endless hours of training were in vain.

The club explained my options which included trials with some junior/ non league clubs and the possibility of assisting me in gaining a scholarship in the United States.

I took my American SAT exam in Glasgow in January 2008 and took part in a showcase match organised by the club. Shortly afterwords, I was contacted by the head coach of USAO and offered the chance to attend his university team in time for the start of the American season in August 2008.

I am about to enter my 2nd year now and absolutely love my new life in Oklahoma. The weather is terrific and our facilities at the university are incredible. I am even playing in front of bigger crowds than the Stirling Albion first team and everyone is great with me out here.

I live on campus and share a college apartment with my team-mates which is brilliant for my social life.

h harder than I thought they would be and my time spent doing extra training for all those years has certainly paid off as American players are very fit. My game has come on leaps and bounds and I have been asked to play in the US Professional Development League during the summer months which I am excited about.

I do not see me career as being finished. Quite the contrary, I really feel that I can emulate David Weir and have another crack at the professional game when I finish my studies in 3 years time. That's if I actually do come back from the USA!
Sam Shaddick

Sam Shaddick
University of Science & Arts, Oklahoma

College Sport USA
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