A rising Queenstown footballer has confirmed a lucrative American university sporting scholarship – despite a late change.
Local under-20 New Zealand footballer Georgia Brown leaves next week for a four-year scholarship at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
Originally she was going to Texas Tech University to train under the American under-20 women’s assistant coach.
The girl Brown was taking over from, however, is staying there next year after injury put paid to her season this year.
Brown, 19, who was able to switch universities within a week, says North Carolina will be better because it offers her favoured degree, interior architecture.
The talented youngster had a stellar footballing year after moving to Auckland last summer.
After debuting for the Junior Football Ferns in the Oceania qualifying round in Auckland, she won selection for the U20 World Cup in Japan in August.
Although she didn’t get any game time, she gained invaluable experience.
Brown then played for Auckland’s winning Northern team in the youth-based national women’s league.
Despite being in the unfamiliar left wing position, she scored seven goals including one in their 2-0 win over Auckland in the final two weeks ago.
Brown says her biggest lesson this year has been adjusting to a faster game.
US soccer is likely to be another step up again, she says.
“In the under-20 team we were serious but girls who have been to American universities say it’s even more serious.”
Brown says the game’s also more physical: “But I’m quite physical so hopefully it will help me.”
University of North Carolina head coach Steve Nugent says the team’s very excited to welcome Brown.
“Her international experience will help our team move forward into the right direction and her leadership qualities will impact our team tremendously.
“Her exceptional work in the classroom also embodies the type of student-athlete we look for here.”