TRANSATLANTIC footballer Paul Clowes is far from your average 19-year-old.
Having played for Manchester City football club since the age of seven while combining his football with his A levels at Sale Grammar School, the teenager is now living the American football dream.
Paul was released by Manchester City last year in June and had to decide after his A levels what would be the next best step in his career as a student and as a footballer.
Clowes, who grew up in Sale, said: “I found being released from Manchester City a challenging time in my life after obviously being there for so long. I knew I wanted to carry on playing the game but wasn’t sure which direction to go in.
“The head of the academy at Manchester City, Mark Allen, showed me the option of playing in America and combining a degree with playing at a high level. Despite having trials at clubs such as Stoke City, I decided that moving to America was something I would reap the rewards of in years to come.”
Clowes decided to play at Clemson University in South Carolina, studying a degree in business and communication’s while playing the game full time. With players like David Beckham and Thierry Henry having starred in the MLS the game is increasing in popularity and standard according to the central midfielder.
Clowes said: “Initially I was wary of coming to play over here as I had the misconception that the standard wasn’t very high. After researching and seeing some of the players playing over here, I saw that the standard was actually far greater than I had anticipated.
“The attendances for my games get up to around 9,000, which is far higher than the attendances for the reserve team football I might have been playing if I had stayed in England. In fact I believe that my Clemson team now could give the Manchester City youth team a fair run for their money.”
Back in Sale for the Christmas holiday, Clowes is happier than ever and focused on his footballing career future.
He added: “After I graduate with my degree in four years time, I hope to come back to England to play and still want to play in the Premiership just as much as I did when I was at City."