ESFA Captain shares USA experience
ESFA National Team Captain shares his USA Soccer Scholarship Experience
PASS4Soccer followed up recently with P4S client and former ESFA National Team Captain Jack Pounce to find our more about his journey in the USA. Following his participation with the ESFA National Team, Jack secured a 100% scholarship to attend Saint Peter's University in Jersey City, New Jersey, just a stones throw from the bright lights of New York City. Over 4 years, Jack's scholarship was worth in excess of $200,000!
Jack Pounce with ESFA National Team Manager (2010-'12) Andy Williams.
Describe your experience with the ESFA International Squad?
Being involved with ESFA was the greatest year of my life. The fact I was representing the Three Lions and millions of students across the country was a huge honour. It came with a prestigious reputation and all my family and friends still talk about the good old days back when I was playing for ESFA.
Following your time with ESFA, you secured a soccer scholarship in the USA. How have you enjoyed your time in the USA?
I have loved every minute of my time in America so far. The location on New York City's doorstep has opened up so many different channels for me both socially and professionally. The lifestyle of getting a degree and playing soccer every day is second to none. It is the perfect combination setting me up for success in the future. The relationships I have developed with certain professors have gone a long way and they will definitely be people that I can rely on later in life. My coach was fantastic through my whole college career, putting his utmost faith in my ability by rewarding me with not only the chance to create a life out here, but also a brilliant financial package. The fact that I don't have any student loans to pay off, or that I didn't have to live in a dirty student house for 4 years on budget food was an immense privilege. I was supported with great housing and free food for 4 years. No one can complain about that!
Where you are now and how has your involvement with the ESFA International Squad changed your life?
I had never heard of PASS4Soccer Scholarships or the idea of becoming a student athlete out in America before I trialled for ESFA. So I owe an immense amount to ESFA for showcasing PASS4Soccer who then helped me day and night through the whole application process. Now, I have created my own clothing company in New York City which I am incredibly excited about. I have always loved entrepreneurship and the fact I can start my career in one of the greatest cities in the world is life changing. I still have a fantastic relationship with my college head coach so I go back and train every day with the team to maintain fitness levels for when I play soccer competitively over the summer. I am basically still living the life of a student athlete but I have replaced the student part with a self-employed job and I love it!
What advice would you have for current ESFA International Squad members or other players in general?
Serious advice from me is to go for it! I have so many friends back home doing very similar things with dead-end jobs behind a desk or still living at home after paying off student loans. America is the land of opportunity and a place that you can gain so much independence and learn how to live without the comfort and guidance of your parents. Obviously, they will always be there to support you and never more than a phone call away, but the thrill of making every decision yourself is exactly why I came here!
Jack training with his SPU team in New York City.