Whitehaven AFC pride as three young football stars head to America for scholarships


Officials at a West Cumbria football club have expressed pride as three of their young players prepare to get football scholarships to America.

Teenagers William Derbyshire, Holly New and Ruth Atkinson are all heading to the United States shortly for the next stage of their education and career.

They are all Whitehaven AFC players, who have supported the trio as they prepare for this exciting opportunity.

The club recently held a fundraiser to help Will, Holly and Ruth.

Club chairman Luke Johnston said: “They have all been involved with the club for a number of years.

“Will was playing for the 18s and he has since played for the second team and the first team, and Holly and Ruth have played for our women’s first team and also come through youth training.

“It’s fantastic that they developed as they went through the club and managed to fend for themselves to secure these incredible opportunities in such a great place.

Holly, Will and Ruth at Whitehaven AFC

“They are going to graduate and play football. They’re all totally football, and to be able to do that full-time in America is amazing.

Luke says Will, 18, of Beckermet, will play for the Ottawa Braves while studying business, finance and economics at the University of Ottawa in Kansas.

Holly, 17, from Whitehaven will play for the Falcons at East Central College in St Louis Missouri, while Ruth, 18, from Moor Row, will play for Bluefield State College and study social science with a concentration in psychology.

A race night held at the club recently raised over £600 to support the three young West Cumbrians.

“It was a night to bring everyone together – teammates, family, friends – not just to raise money, but also to have a drink and celebrate what they’ve accomplished,” added Luke.

“They made the club very proud by getting this opportunity.

“Grassroots football and the philosophy behind it, structure, really helps young players develop as a team and develop their skills.

“As a grassroots club, we’re really proud of them and happy that we’ve had not one or two but three in a year from our club go and play in America, it’s amazing.”


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