A talented Teesside teen is taking her ball skills overseas after landing a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Lauren Johnson has been offered a football scholarship at Northern Oklahoma College.The 17-year-old midfielder was talent spotted playing for her team at Middlesbrough College.
She will now be jetting off to Oklahoma in August to embark on the exciting opportunity.
“I can’t wait,” said Boro fan Lauren, who lives in Pallister Park, Middlesbrough.
“It’s a dream come true.”
Lauren started playing football when she was six and a pupil at Pallister Park Primary School. At the age of 11, she was selected to play for Middlesbrough Centre of Excellence. After five years at the academy, Lauren joined Sunderland ladies before once again returning to Middlesbrough to play for the ladies’ team.
Now a student at Middlesbrough College studying coaching and fitness, Lauren plays for the college team and it was there that she was spotted.
“I was playing for the college during a game this coach from America came to watch,” said Lauren, who also has her FA Level 1 in coaching.
“At the end of the game he said he had seen me playing and asked me if I would be interested in a scholarship in America.
“I couldn’t believe it.”
Lauren’s mum Donna, who also has a son Lee, 23, and a daughter Ellie, 13, said: “I am so proud of her. She has got a real flair for football.”
Lauren’s scholarship will pay for her accommodation and football training however the cost of flights and her additional tuition will have to be paid for.
“It would be great if I could find a sponsor,” said Lauren. She added: “I feel a mix of emotions about it all but I am excited. I can’t wait.”
To sponsor Lauren, contact the Evening Gazette on 01642 234257.
Original News Source: Evening Gazette 4th June 2012