FOOTBALLER Lucy Valentine has secured a scholarship to a New York University where she will study for a degree while also playing football for the university team.
Lucy, 18, is currently studying A levels in Biology, Psychology and PE at Haslingden Sixth Form.
She has been playing since she was seven for a number of sides: Blackburn, Accrington, Bolton County, Lancashire and latterly she has been the centre midfielder with Chorley Women FC Development Team as well as being a crucial member of her school’s teams throughout her time at Haslingden High School.
Lucy was in the Lancashire County U14 team that won the English Schools’ Football Association PlayStation U14 Girls’ Inter County Cup in 2018.
Former head coach of the girls’ team Michael Whitworth said: “Lucy fully deserves this opportunity with all the hard work that she has done to realise this goal; both on and off the pitch.
“I wish her all the best over the other side of the pond where I am sure she will continue being successful and I look forward to reading about her over the next few years.
“It will be a give her multiple opportunities to progress her education and her football.”
Lucy said: “I trialed at York in front of scouts from universities who were looking for potential players to promote to the universities in America.
“They created a promotional video of me and that led me to getting six offers. I have picked the Dominican University in New York and I will be there for four years.”
She will be studying Health Science, similar to Sport Science, and the scholarship will cover tuition fees and food, she will just have to fund her accommodation on campus.
The first year will see her complete ‘minors’ in core subjects, before progressing to her chosen specialist subject for three years.
All the time she will also be playing for the university’s football team.
Lucy, from Edenfield, said: “My mum Lesley and dad Pete were really pleased for me and they said if I wanted to do it, I should.
“My dad comes to all of my matches and my mum supports me too.”
She has already chatted to a footballer from Scotland who is also going to the same university and knows of another from Denmark and a student from Sweden who are also going.
Lucy added: “My parents are coming with me at the start just to settle me in and I will be returning home at the end of every term. I will really miss my dogs.
“I don’t know what I want to do for a career, but I will always continue with my football.”
Photo John Shirras