Keighley Kicks is flying the star spangled banner high with our newest supporter.
Sports Recruiting USA are the latest company to back the Keighley area’s favourite football website and we welcome them on board.
The company is run by former Oakworth Juniors and Oxenhope player Chris Cousins and offers the best junior talent the opportunity to play and study at an American university on a soccer scholarship.
Cousins, Sports Recruiting USA’s head of operations, said: “A player has been with you since the age of nine and you’ve got to tell him that he isn’t going to be offered a pro contract. If he isn’t good enough to turn professional right now, what other routes can he take?
With the growing number of players, there’s a growing number of companies guiding them. One of the finest around is the UK-based Sports Recruiting USA.
The Premier League and Football League say between 60 and 65 per cent of the 700 or so scholars taken on each year are rejected at 18. Give them a plan B.
This is where Sports Recruiting USA can help…
“The American universities offer some of the finest facilities, coaching and education in the world. So who wouldn’t want to prepare for life after football by gaining a degree, whilst still training and playing at a high level, opening up many more doors”, said Cousins.
“It’s not an easy task, getting out to the States, and players need to prepare well in advance of their departure, much sooner than April when most guys are released.
“They need to be undertaking an entrance exam called the SAT in good time, sorting out their eligibility with the athletic associations (or leagues to put it simpler), creating high quality video highlights, getting seen by the US coaches, and also sorting out their visa.
“It’s a lot of work, that’s why the clubs ask us to come in.”
The reason the top universities work with Sports Recruiting USA (such as UCLA, Harvard, Akron, U’Conn to name but a few), is because they ‘prepare the lads properly for the rigours of US college soccer’, all of the staff have been through the process and played US college soccer and also because they have a very strict recruitment policy.
“Unlike many other companies, we are very strict on who we accept to help,” said Cousins.
“We have a quality over quantity outlook and this has built up a reputation over the past four years that has now meant we are respected by some of the best coaches in college soccer. This helps the guys get seen by top universities.”
Over the years, Sports Recruiting USA have helped many released players. One such person was Joe Martin, formerly of Barnsley.
He was released in 2012 and contacted the company on the recommendation of Academy manager Ronnie Branson. He wanted to get a degree and still play at a high level and wanted to explore the US route.
“He contacted us after he’d got a couple of offers from US unis from personal contacts, but wanted help with the process and to get seen more and increase his options,” said Cousins.
Within two days, Martin had 45 different institutes wanting him to attend.
Over the year the company worked with him, he gained lots more interest and finally chose to attend NCAA Division One Fairfield University on a full scholarship (covering his food, tuition and accommodation) to take over from the departing New Zealand national team goalkeeper Michael O’Keeffe.
He has also been playing in the USL Premier Development League this summer for the Long Island Roughriders.
“We fully expect him to go pro, either in the US or in the UK after he graduates,” said Cousions.
So the future looks bright for Martin.
The company have also recently started opening up their own academies in the UK, to help their clients prepare mentally, physically and academically for the US.
That is a move that Cousins says has made a lot of US coaches a lot happier when players have arrived more prepared than normal.
All this help does come at a cost, but it is looked as an investment by their clients on the amount they save on tuition with the scholarships the company seeks out for them.
Sports Recruiting USA charges about a third less than the LFE’s current official scholarship partner, hence why clubs have been asking them to come in and chat with their scholars as it saves them money.
If you run an organisation that feels it could benefit from having Sports Recruiting USA help you or your players, contact Head of Operations Chris Cousins, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, call +44 (0) 7703721204 or check the company’s website www.sportsrecruitingusa.com for more details.
The company has recently launched their own mobile app. To download it, enter ‘Sports Recruiting USA’ into your app store today.
Watch a video of some of Sports Recruiting USA’s clients, here.