14th August 2017
Amongst the hundreds of York College students eagerly awaiting A Level results on Thursday 17th August are successful footballers Louise Welch and Joe Dunnett who are following their dreams and aspirations.
Louise Welch will find out her A Level results on the other side of the pond, having secured a scholarship to study a Biology degree at Fairmount State University, West Virginia, playing in their football league. Over the last two years Louise has played for the York College Women’s Football Development Centre alongside studying A Levels in Biology, Chemistry and Maths, whilst playing also for the Durham Wildcats in their Superleague Development Squad in her spare time. It was York College who put her in touch with a Leeds recruiting agency who sent video footage of her footballing talents to the U.S. universities, in the hope of securing a scholarship.
Says Louise, aged 18 (formerly of Tadcaster Grammar School): “I think my parents put a football in my pram when I was a baby as I have grown up playing the sport. I decided early on, aged 10, that I wanted to play football in the USA as I was aware of the fantastic training opportunities there. At York College football has fitted easily around my A Level studies and with the Football Development Centre I made a good circle of friends too. I would say that football helped me to power through my academic studies. After my degree I would like to work with animals, keeping football as a hobby.”
It has been a wonderful year for the York College Football Development Centre, with the men’s Under 18’s team reaching two national finals and being crowned the national ECFA Champions, thanks to A Level student Joe Dunnett, from Pickering, (formerly of Lady Lumley’s School) scoring the winning penalty.
Joe has his fingers crossed for good results in his Government & Politics, Business and Geography A Levels, hoping to progress to Northumbria University to study Business and Politics. He says: “This year has been brilliant. Whilst studying for my A Levels I was supported by York College to pursue my dream of becoming a professional footballer. At the start of the academic year I was encouraged by the College to train with Doncaster Rovers FC three days a week, fitting training around my A Levels. Then, off the back of the College’s ECFA cup win (played at Wallsall FC), I was asked to trial at Walsall FC this summer, and possibly sign a professional deal. I'm also hoping to play for Tadcaster Albion’s First team this year in the The Evo-Stik League Northern Premier - First Division. I feel I have so many options for the future.”
Says Gaz Lee, Sports Development Centre coordinator at York College: “We have a mix of A Level and Vocational students playing in the Development Centre and it is wonderful to see them progressing to higher education and onto exciting careers inside and outside the sport.”