Nelson and Colne College graduate, Taylor O’Neill, has won a 4-year football scholarship in America.

Taylor, 18, from Foulridge in Pendle, will play university level football while studying for a Sports Science degree at the Point University in West Point, Georgia, after leaving college with a Triple Distinction Star in Performance and Excellence in Sport.

Having played for Trawden Celtic from the age of 7 and captaining the team until 16, he was then snapped up by the men’s team a until his move to the States just two days before his 18th birthday.

Taylor will be on campus for his first year before moving into a shared house for his second and dreams of becoming a professional footballer or coach.

On her son’s exciting adventure, mum Amanda said: “Taylor loved his time at Nelson and Colne College. He holds his coaches and tutors in the highest regard and enjoyed every aspect of his course.

“It was while at the college he met a representative from the SRUSA (Soccer Recruitment USA) which shaped the next exciting chapter of his life, and he is deeply appreciative of the fact his course paved the way for such a great opportunity.”

“While he was granted the scholarship some time ago, because of Covid, everything was organised right at the eleventh hour – within four days we’d travelled to London to organise his Visa, booked a flight, and then he took off for the States.”

“True to his nature, Taylor wanted to be there on the Monday morning with the rest of the team and though he was a touch jet-lagged, he made it there happy and raring to go.

“It breaks my heart that he’s so far away, but I’m so proud and willing him on all the same.”

Alex Corps, Curriculum Leader of Sport at Nelson and Colne College, said: “Taylor really was an exemplary student, and his scholarship is well deserved.

“The Performance and Excellence in Sport course offers leadership, organisational, communication and team working skills.

“It also allows learners the chance to carry out practical coaching, self and team performance analysis which are all skills which Taylor now takes with him on his next journey.

“We wish him the very best of luck with his scholarship and look forward to hearing about his successes in years to come.”

There’s still time to enrol for one of our courses at our daily drop in sessions Monday – Friday 9am – 4pm or you can make an appointment to speak to someone.Call  01282 440272, email admissions@nelsongroup.ac.uk or visit https://www.nelson.ac.uk/enrol-now/

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