Steyning Town hotshot Alex Townley is heading to America in a bid to further develop his football career.
Townley, 18, will be mixing studies with football at the University of Charleston, West Virginia.
The former Upper Beeding talent will play for the university in the Mountain East Conference, which is equivalent to Division 2 of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).
University of Charleston are defending Division 2 champions and were finalists in 2014.
It is a chapter Townley, who sets off for the States at the end of July, is excited about. He said: “I’m looking forward to playing football all the time. Football will be the main thing I’ll be doing out there and that’s what I’ve been wanting to do. Just being able to use all the facilities out there and progress, that’s what I’m most looking forward to.
“I know a few people that are out there and they say it’s a really good experience and the football is a lot better than people would think in England.
“It’s been good feedback from everyone that I have spoken to. I have had lots of phone calls with the coaches, so I know what to expect. I got six or seven offers and this was the one that stood out for me because of the recent success.
“They won the national championship this year and they are obviously looking to win again, so if I can be a part of that then that will be what attracted me to that university.
“I suppose you have got to play it by ear. If I get an opportunity to play out there professionally then I suppose I will take that and if not then there is a good opportunity in England to play football. I haven’t started yet but the options are quite good whatever I decide.”
Forward Townley capped his final Steyning appearance with a goal in their 2-1 Southern Combination League Division 1 defeat at Wick on Saturday. Townley netted in three of his last four games for Town this season as they ended the season 11th in the SCFL Division 1.
The 18-year-old thanks all involved at the club for aiding his development.
He said: “It didn’t really hit me that it was my final game until afterwards when they said it in the clubhouse. But when they said it, I realised it was my last game.
“Because I’ve been playing for quite a few years now it was emotional.”