A Garvagh student thought he was ‘California Dreaming’ when he bumped into one of his idols recently.
Northern Regional College Sport’s student, Matthew Brown, is currently undertaking a nine month coaching internship with UK International Soccer in Sherman Oaks, Los Angeles.
Through his own initiative and the support of Northern Regional College Matthew secured his internship last year and left home on March to embark on this exciting journey.
Having completed his first year of his Level 3 BTEC Extended Diploma in Sports course and experienced an element of coaching as well as completing his IFA Level 1 coaching qualification, he decided to take a gap year to take up this lifetime opportunity.
When he decided to make the move to the States though I’m sure Matthew never thought he would get the opportunity to rub shoulders with one of football’s biggest names.
Whilst enjoying a relaxing afternoon in the back garden of his host family’s house Matthew ended up playing basketball with Romeo Beckham before getting a selfie with his dad David when he came to collect him.
“One of my highlights to date would be meeting David Beckham – this was random,” he explained.
“I was playing in my host family’s garden when we noticed that Romeo Beckham was playing basketball in the next door neighbour’s garden. We decided to play basketball with them and then David appeared to collect him he was kind enough to let me get a picture with him.”
Matthew is clearly enjoying his Amercian adventure, both on and off the football field.
“From participating in the soccer internship I have experienced so much and I’m only have way through this adventure,” he said.
“I coach kids aged from Under 5s to Under 12s from Monday to Saturday in a spring league where teams compete against each other on a Saturday.
“On Friday’s I take an Under 5 Jamboree where we play games and helps kids understand the game. My coaching skills and knowledge of soccer have improved extensively from working and listening to coaches.
“I would like to take this opportunity to express my appreciation to my host family who are amazing and have treated me as part of their family from day one and also Northern Regional College who have supported and helped me.”
Matthew is due to return Coleraine in November when he plans to complete the second year of his Level 3 in Sports course as well as the IFA ‘C’ Certificate. After that he hopes to travel back to America and fulfil his dream of becoming a USA coach.
“All students within Level 3 Sport at Coleraine are encouraged to challenge themselves and use the work experience module to gain experiences in industry, we strive hard to set up relevant work experiences and assist students in achieving the greatest experiences they can,” said Greg McGovern, Northern Regional College Sports tutor.
“In this case, Matthew has went above and beyond our expectations and with some hard work support from all our staff here at Northern Regional College he has gained an experience of a life time, this is encouraging for everyone to follow in his footsteps and push the boundaries of what is an accepted norm; and what they are capable of.”
For further information on our Sports courses, visit www.nrc.ac.uk. Applications are now open for all full-time courses.