Suffolk New College student Luke Betts lands four-month summer football coaching role in USA

Luke Betts, a 19-year-old Level 3 Sports and Exercise student at Suffolk New College who is coaching

Luke Betts, a 19-year-old Level 3 Sports and Exercise student at Suffolk New College who is coaching the sport in America this summer. Picture: SUFFOLK NEW COLLEGE - Credit: Archant

It’ll be soccer, not football for 19-year-old Luke Betts who is jetting across the Atlantic to coach the sport in America this summer.

The 19-year-old Level 3 Sports and Exercise student, who studies at Suffolk New College in Ipswich, was one of a handful of British youngsters selected by soccer camp provider Challenger Sport to spend four months in the States teaching football to youngsters of various ages and abilities.

He is hoping the experience will lead to a role as an academy coach – potentially at a Major League Soccer (MLS) club – in 2018.

A host of Premier League and England stars have joined MLS clubs in recent years, including David Beckham and Frank Lampard.

The teenager,who will be based in Baltimore, Maryland, said: “I was looking at possible university courses but I hadn’t found anything I really wanted to do.

“Then a friend told me about teaching football in the US and it instantly appealed.”

To earn his place, he had to deliver a flawless 40-minute training routine to ten youngsters – something he said he found straightforward.

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“We had been taught how to coach as part of the course at Suffolk New College so I knew exactly what I was doing,” he said.

“I couldn’t have achieved my place in the States without the help of my tutors, Kirsty Seymour-Croney and Gareth Morris.

“I have learnt how to communicate, organise, lead and coach.”

Mrs Seymour-Croney declared herself proud of the youngster

She said: “Luke is an exceptional student, achieving distinctions across the board.

“He is a valuable member of the group, always willing to support those around him.

“He has applied his knowledge well from work experience and the course to achieve an excellent opportunity to coach football in America, which is something to be very proud of.”

Luke, who plans to eventually go on to achieve his UEFA badges and make it as a professional football coach, hopes to go on to coach in Brazil after his stint in the States.

He said: “I’ve been presented with an opportunity that could really help me kick start my career – and I couldn’t be more excited.”