Luke warms up for American soccer adventure

Luke warms up for American soccer adventure

It’ll be soccer, not football for Suffolk New College’s Luke Betts who is jetting across the Atlantic to coach the sport in America this summer.

The 19-year-old Level 3 Sports and Exercise student was one of a handful of British youngsters selected by soccer camp provider Challenger Sport to spend four months in the States teaching football to youngsters of various ages and abilities.

He is hoping the experience will lead to a role as an academy coach – potentially at an MLS club – in 2018.

“I was looking at possible university courses but I hadn’t found anything I really wanted to do,” said Luke, who will be based in Baltimore, Maryland. “Then a friend told me about teaching football in the US and it instantly appealed.”

To earn his place, Luke had to deliver a flawless 40-minute training routine to ten youngsters – something he found straightforward.

“We had been taught how to coach as part of the course at Suffolk New College so I knew exactly what I was doing,” he said.

“I couldn’t have achieved my place in the States without the help of my tutors, Kirsty Seymour-Croney and Gareth Morris. I have learnt how to communicate, organise, lead and coach.”

Proud tutor Kirsty said: “Luke is an exceptional student, achieving distinctions across the board. He is a valuable member of the group, always willing to support those around him.

“He has applied his knowledge well from work experience and the course to achieve an excellent opportunity to coach football in America - something to be very proud of.”

Luke, who plans to eventually go on to achieve his UEFA badges and make it as a professional football coach, hopes to go on to coach in Brazil after his stint in the States.

“I’ve been presented with an opportunity that could really help me kick start my career – and I couldn’t be more excited.”