We recently caught up with U.S Sports Scholarships client and current Missouri State student-athlete Matt Bentley. Matt shared with us his experiences from his time in the States so far as well as his plans beyond graduation.
Can you tell us about the experience you have had on your scholarship in the States?
My experience in the States has been nothing short of amazing thus far! I’ve been able to combine playing football at a very high and competitive level with obtaining a degree, debt free, in Economics which will help me later in life. I’ve had some of my best footballing highs in terms of winning my Conference Tournament and going to the NCAA National Tournament, as well as meeting some of my best friends. Moreover, I’ve been able to explore numerous states in the US including California, New York, Florida and Washington D.C. which is something I previously would have never imagined of doing at this age.
What has been most memorable to you about your experience?
My most memorable part of my US experience so far was winning the Conference Tournament. We beat Charleston, who were the number one team in the nation, in the final 2-1 on their home pitch and I scored both goals, so it was extra special for me too. That whole week at university we were being congratulated by so many students and other sports teams and it was a warming feeling to have pleased a lot of people and made them proud to be part of WVWC. Individually, being selected as part of the All-American team in my junior year was very pleasing too especially after being injured for the first 6 games of the season.
Can you tell us about your plans for the future beyond graduation?
After graduation I’m definitely looking to continue playing football in some way, shape or form. I think I’m going to try and see if I can get signed by a USL Championship or USL 1 team at least for a year so that I can stay in the US a bit longer. I’ve been playing in the PDL/USL 2 during the last two summer for GPS Portland Phoenix and hopefully that, along with a good senior year, will help make this happen. If not, I am open to trying other countries within Europe for a few years whilst I still have limited responsibilities and get a pro contract somewhere there!
What advice would you give to someone who is considering a sports scholarship?
It is a huge decision but for me it is a no brainer to go ahead and do it and really is a once in a life time opportunity. Also wherever you end up and wherever you accept, go with an open mind. You will get homesick, and there’s a lot of people who come home around Christmas time, but I think you have to look at a bigger picture than that. It’s a fantastic experience, it’s four years that I am so thankful for. To anyone who’s considering it, just grab the opportunity – it really could be the making of you.”
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