"The facilities were the best I had seen"
In the Fall of 2012, Sam joined St Ambrose University which is located in Davenport, Iowa. It is a Tier 1 institution, offering some of the best graduate programs in the nation. Sam was kind enough to answer some questions on his time so far.
What impressed you most about St Ambrose when going through the recruitment process?
"I think through the way both the coaches and the boys already there spoke to me, as well as the other international lads was the key. The fact that they were both on the same page and were serious about moving forward as a team was obvious, and it just drew you in. Their facilities were also the best I'd seen, with the weather they get in the Winter, having a Dome to train in just added to the benefits they offer".
Before committing to SAU, what were you studying in the UK and where were you playing your club soccer?
"Before SAU, I was playing and coaching in Melbourne, Australia in a year off after school in England. At school I studied, English, Psychology, History and P.E".
What major have you decided upon and why?
"I've actually decided to double major now; I started off intending to study Journalism but after taking a Freshman class in Television Production, I then decided to add Radio and Television Production major on top of that (they're both fairly similar so it works well in the amount of extra classes I need to take). I've taken both these because I want to work either within Sports Broadcasting or Television and Film Production. Again, the facilities SAU offers for this are incredible".
How important was it to arrive for pre-season physically fit?
"Knowing what I know after my first season, being in your peak condition is essential. I'd say I wasn't as fit as I should have been going into pre-season and you definitely feel that when the humidity hits you. So it's definitely essential to get as much work in before you go out just to compensate for the conditions you're not used to. Again, this benefits you throughout the season as you're playing 3 games a week and you don't want to fall to injury as that may put you out for a good amount of games!"
During the Fall season, what is the typical weeks training and studying schedule?
The Fall season is a bit hectic at times. As a Freshman you are juggling classes, have a heavy training schedule, and have plenty of games so it is tough. The soccer team at Ambrose train 4 times a week, and always in the afternoon following classes. We have "Study Hall" every Monday and Wednesday where we have to report to our coaches so they can check on our academics. We are in class 5 days a week but once you get use to the system it is fine. During the Spring season you have much more free time.
Looking back on Year 1, what was your most memorable moment?
I don't think I'd say I had one memorable moment. I think the whole of my first year was incredibly good. Spring Break was a good rest from normal college life. We also played a college from North Dakota that two boys from my UK schools team played for. That was pretty surreal considering we were a good 4000 miles from home! It also helped having a few internationals just to keep that element of a home away from home going!
Sam will be reporting for pre-season next month. Everyone at P4S wishes him and the other P4S players at SAU the best of luck for the new season!