College Sport On The Up!

The NFL is without a doubt, the biggest of all US Sports. The whole college sport setup itself dwarfs other sports in the nation with coverage of it as in depth as we may see here in Britain with the Premier League. According to Sporting Intelligence, in 2015 the NFL’s 23 professional teams averaged over 68,000 fans per game with the top 30 college programs averaging even more at 81,000. This is staggering and if combined, would make it the highest attended sports league on Earth. Soccer scholarships in the USA are big business and at Soccer Smart we know all about this!

soccer scholarships usa

This level of popularity has allowed US colleges to create some of the most advanced facilities anywhere in the world which dozens of our Soccer Smart Athletes have been able to discover first hand during their time in the states. Take for example Sean Holmes, Danny Carroll and James Halpin who have excelled during their time out there! Dino James played summer league in front of 8000 fans which is something very few people get to do.

It’s not only the facilities that have been effected by the sizeable revenue of college sports with coaches and staff being paid huge salaries. The defensive coordinator at the University of Oregon has a reported $1.15 million annual salary package which is enough to hire 10 assistant professors! There are several college sport coaches around America with similar salaries to this. As you can see below, some coaches at this level are on absolutely staggering salaries which would rival coaches in premier divisions of other sports all around the world.

American Football coach salaries at college level.

The issue with all of this is that NCAA has a philosophy regarding amateurism and says…

“Amateur competition is a bedrock principle of college athletics. The collegiate model of sports, the young men and women competing on the field or court are students first, athletes second.”

It will certainly be interesting to see how far this rapid expansion goes and whether the NCAA will have to move away from their ethos in the coming years. College sport is certainly on the rise.

Get in touch with Soccer Smart for more information on soccer scholarships in the USA as well as information on our Spanish Soccer academies! 

Why attend a UK Football Trial?

Why attend a UK Football Trial?

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What to do after being released? Here is Jamie Vardy's story...

Have you ever been released from a football club? Well no need to worry, so was Jamie Vardy. Jamie Vardy got released from Sheffield Wednesday FC when he was 16 years old and now he is playing for Premier League Champions, Leicester City FC. Your football career has only just started! Did you know that Soccer Smart can help you get a club in the UK as well as abroad? You can learn how to get a soccer scholarship in USA from the United Kingdom. So if it’s staying in the UK like Jamie Vardy or going to America and progressing like Luke Mulholland, Soccer Smart would be the smart choice for you! (We can also help you get a club in Australia, New Zealand, Spain, Gibraltar and Canada!)

In this blog we are going to find out what steps Jamie Vardy took from being released, to where he is now. 

As soon as Vardy got released from Sheffield Wednesday FC he joined Stocksbridge Park Steels FC in their youth system. From the youth set up, he made his way through the reserves and made his first team debut in 2007. One thing that Vardy had was a passion for football. After getting released, he didn’t just give up, he had the mentality to carry on playing football and wanted to prove himself as a player at Stocksbridge Park Steels FC which would hopefully get his name known and bring opportunities for him to progress further! 


In June 2010, he signed for FC Halifax Town. Within his first season at the club, Vardy was the top goal scorer with 26 goals and he also got the player’s player of the season award. 

A year and a half later he signed for Conference Premier Side, Fleetwood Town. He won yet another award, the Conference Premier Player of the month award in November. Vardy got 31 league goals that season and helped Fleetwood town get their first ever promotion to the Football League. He also was the top scorer in the Conference Premier! 

Did you know that Blackpool manager Ian Holloway wanted Vardy and offered Fleetwood £750,000 for him? Fleetwood declined as they wanted £1million for Vardy and a loan back to the club!

In May 2012, Vardy signed for Leicester City for £1million, which could be worth £1.7million with add-ons . Vardy wanted to quit football after his first season at Leicester as he lost his form and got some stick from Leicester City fans on social media. 

In the 2013-14 season Vardy found his form and got 16 league goals which helped Leicester City win the Championship, getting promoted to the Premier League and he also got named Leicester’s Player’s Player of the season award! 

In the 2014-15 season, Vardy got nominated for Premier League Player of the Month in April and helped Leicester City finish 14th in the Premier League. 


In the 2015-16 season, Vardy got Premier League Player of the Month in October & November . The fifth ever player to win the award in consecutive months. He then beat Van Nistelrooy’s record by scoring in 11 consecutive games. Vardy is in the PFA Team of the Year and helped Leicester City FC WIN the Premier League! Lets not forget to mention he is also playing for England!

Is it all about the money?

If football is your priority and not money, the money will soon enough come. Jamie Vardy started on £30 a week for playing for Stocksbridge Park FC . He also had to work 12 hour shifts in a factory! His wages at Leicester City have recently doubled from £40,000 to £80,000 per week! He now gets paid 2,667 times more money than what he did when he started! £79,970 more to be exact! PER WEEK! Plenty of money for Jamie Vardy's Parties! 

Not quite got where you want to be in football? Don't quit, Vardy didn't and look where he is now! Soccer Smart can help you if you have recently been released or haven't quite made it to where you want to be. UK or abroad, we can help! Sign up for our next trail at by clicking HERE

Learn how to get a soccer scholarship in USA from the United Kingdom by attending one off our UK Football Trials

Don't know what you want to do??


I bet this question comes in to your head a lot… I don’t think many of us exactly know what we want/wanted to do at your age either. As a young lad, I made a decision that for me was definitely life changing. Like many others at 17/18 years old you have to start making decisions about your future. Do I go to university? Do I get a job? I wouldn’t mind going on a gap year, I have the opportunity to move abroad to continue playing football



All of these ideas in your head are quite hard to make a decision and to know what exactly the right decision for you is. Having been your age and having these thoughts in your head, also making the decision to move to America, completing four years of full time football, and a degree, and finally presenting to student athletes from the age of 16-23 I understand what you are going through. This is why it is very important that you receive all the information you can about all the different opportunities that are available to you.


I have been in to several different programmes/colleges over the last couple of months and I have seen a lot of confused faces, a lot of comments made by student athletes that they haven’t thought about what they are going to do once they finish college/6th form/university in the summer. The phase ‘not even thought about it’ is often used, this to me is a little worrying because it can be so easy that you go down the wrong path, or that you lose focus and drive to do something positive with your life. Please start thinking about your future because before you know it, it will be here and then what??


Ask you tutors about what they think you should do, speak with your football coaches, talk to your brothers/sisters, mums and dads, speak to people/companies like Soccer Smart. Everyone I have just mentioned wants the best for you, so take their advice, listen to what they say, take on board what you think is important and hopefully this will make you have a better idea of what you want to do.

I will always come back to the opportunity that I took to move to America, play full time football for four years and furthering my education with gaining a degree. This to me was the best decision I have ever made. You might think ok well America isn’t something I would like to do, it may be travelling for a year, and it may be playing football in another country or even just experiencing life away from home…


My advice to you is, do it!! If you have the opportunity to see the world then do it, and if you can play football at the same time then great, just get out there and experience life because I know for sure that when you get a little older and you settle down, you will regrets that you never did it!!

If you want to have a chat with any of our consultants then please get in touch with us via our website or by email @, we are here to help!!

Womens Soccer Scholarships USA

University of Montevallo 2014-2015 season

University of Montevallo 2014-2015 season

Womens Soccer Scholarships USA

Well it has been a fantastic start for our girls who have gone over to America and Canada. It is very early days but to know all the girls are having a fantastic time and also contributing to the teams they are playing for is great to hear.

With Soccer Smart taking time to really get to know the standard of football and the level of player required at the universities in America and Canada this has really helped us be successful in placing the right players with the right teams.

I want to take this time for you to think about what a Scholarship in America or Canada or even a placement in Australia for a year can do for your futures and careers. Having had the chance to play and live in another country for a period of four and half years, I have found that this has been fantastic in my individual development and given me the springboard I needed to be where I am now.  All that a student athlete or semi professional player will experience in the countries that we offer are invaluable. They will learn how to deal with good, bad and indifferent situations, they will gain confidence in themselves whether that be academically, on and off the football pitch (soccer pitch).

Having spent that time over there I know it was the best years of my life up to date. I lived with other student athletes that were from all over the world, and it gave me a chance to learn about different cultures, I made friends with people from different countries and for which I am entirely grateful.  I have been in contact with all the players that Soccer Smart sent out and the coaches have been really happy with them and also all the players are loving it.

 If you are reading this and thought ‘I would love to do that’ or ‘I wish I did that’ it isn’t too late, the opportunities to play abroad are for many different people and ages and this is something that Soccer Smart caters for. Soccer Smart demonstrates honesty, hard work, time, care, support and guidance to all our players. Each player is different that come through the doors of our office and we want to make sure that we provide the players/parents the relevant information and provide them with knowledge so that the players can make the right decision for them. We believe that anyone can achieve what they want to achieve given the right opportunity and experience, we are giving you exactly that.

The game for women’s soccer is getting bigger and bigger by the year and it is fantastic to see. One of our consultants Nicole Johnston spent several years at Everton Ladies FC before heading out to America for her Soccer Scholarship where she spent majority of her four years at a University in Alabama.  Since graduating in May 2015 Nicole came home and started with Soccer Smart straight away. It is fantastic for our company to have an ex female student athlete, who can help guide and support the female players we have on our programme. We want to progress our Women’s side as we believe that there are plenty of Women soccer players who have the ability to play out in America and Australia.

Nicole Johnston, US Student Athlete Graduate, Soccer Smart consultant

Nicole Johnston, US Student Athlete Graduate, Soccer Smart consultant

If you are aged 17-29, you are a keen footballer and you have the desire to travel do not hesitate to get in touch. We do have a couple of showcases coming up throughout the remainder of this year and we will have plenty more for 2016.

I look forward to the possibility of working with you and Soccer Smart cannot wait to provide you with the opportunities that all the members of the Soccer Smart team have had themselves.

Thanks for reading,

Chris Anderson (Head Consultant)