My name is Brevin McCurdy and I am from Coshocton, Ohio. I started playing soccer when I was three years old, and I've grown a passion through playing and enjoying the game. It has been my life in a way. Soccer is very important to me outside of my academics and my family. I started playing locally and then began to play with Director of Recruitment, Seamus Reilly. Seamus has taught me so much about the game and also about life. My passion and love for soccer has been there from a young age, and it increased when I met him.
This year, I will be heading over to Chester in England to study sports coaching and play in the UDA Academy. I first heard about UDA through Coach Reilly, he told me about the academy and talked about its programs in terms of education as well as soccer, where I learnt about the University of Chester after I attended the Player ID camp. Katy Davenport [the International Officer at the University of Chester] had come in and talked about the university. Once I saw the university and what it has to offer, I knew UoC is where I wanted to be. I also had the chance to visit Chester where I visited the university and got to meet some of the coaching staff. The place felt like home even then.
There are a lot of brilliant things about the university — work-based experience, getting degrees in a shorter amount of time, etc. it’s just different from what we have here [in the US]. I’m also excited to meet new people and have new experiences. It’s an opportunity of a lifetime to get your education and experience a different culture while also playing soccer. I love to travel, and I love to see different things. In a small town that I come from, you don’t usually hear about opportunities like this. I’m very excited to study abroad.
We're excited to see you acorss the pond, Brevin!
As another season and school term approaches, the excitement of welcoming new student athletes to the UDA Academy at the University of Chester heightens. This season we are pleased to welcome 21 new students from all over the world, to the UoC academy.
We are even more excited that our student athletes will have the chance to live on campus and experience what it's like to be a student in the historic City of Chester.
Our mission is to change lives through education, and we believe that through the continued success of the UDA UoC Academy coupled with Chester's campus, academic programs, faculty and outstanding facilities will allow our student athletes to not only live our mission, but exceed their goals.
Going into this term, our goals remain the same - to help student athletes find a program in which they can study, live and thrive. For incoming recruit Connor Bagby from Bardstown, Kentucky we believe we have done just that, "what drew me into the UDA program was the idea of playing soccer abroad and taking away a new set of technical abilities. The sports coaching program drew me into the UoC program because of my interest in coaching athletics" stated Bagby.
In addition to playing football year round, our student athletes will gain the skills they need to be successful off the pitch.
Joel Roberts, Program Director for the UDA UoC academy reflects on the experience students can expect at the academy. "Academically [student athletes have the] opportunity to study a specific subject area and complete their degree in three years, culturally they can experience life abroad in an historic city such as Chester with its transport links to the rest of the UK and Europe and athletically they have the opportunity to play year-round, experience an elite-level coaching and player development environment and off the field a chance to watch live soccer from the EPL to non-league."
Roberts believes there are several elements that contribute to the success of student athletes at the UoC program. On the pitch athletes can "consistently seek to improve as a player, [which comes from] being part of team's successes and responding well to setbacks." Off the pitch Roberts added that success comes from "developing new friendships, experiencing a different way of living, opportunities to travel and developing your independence and leadership skills" which all contribute to the culture of the student athletes at the UoC program.
Thinking ahead to his time at UoC, Bagby remarked, "I am hoping to take away a greater knowledge of soccer and a broader understanding of cultures from the UDA UoC Academy."
There is a lot to look forward to beginning this fall and welcoming a new set of parents and students to the UDA family is just one of them. "We are also delighted to welcome back our returning students who've made their lives here alongside the incoming players who add an injection of freshness to the program" stated Roberts. "Most notably, I'm looking forward to the opportunity for us all to get back out on the grass and play!" added Coach Roberts.
Our student athletes are just as eager to start this term, "I am looking forward to playing soccer with a new set of teammates and hopefully being able to connect and create new friends." stated Bagby.
Amidst the busyness of a new term, our head of player support, Gaynor Crompton will be there for each student, equipped with the ability to help students get settled and prepare for a successful year both on and off the pitch. We are excited to see our student athletes thrive at the UDA UoC academy.
interested in learning more?