National defender Andre Applewhaite is now a Cougar after signing with the Coastal Bend College in Beeville, Texas.
The Weymouth Wales center back signed a two-year scholarship to pursue his studies in Business Management beginning in the Fall.
Applewhaite said he got the call-up through the ASM Agency in West Palm Beach, Florida. He said after a series of meetings with both him and his parents they settled on the junior college.
“There were a lot of options I had, but I decided on Coastal Bend because the coach said he would allow me to play in the Summer League before I go over to school. He said he would push me to get a transfer within a year’s time, so even if I only spend a year with them, he would help me develop fast. He said a lot of good things and the price was a better price than the others,” he said.
The former Combermerian said despite the two-year scholarship, it depended on which school showed interest he would decide if to transfer, which would only be done after a year had elapsed.
“Playing football is my passion and I really worked toward playing overseas all these years,” he said.
The 18-year-old, who also plays as a left-back, began playing football at age 11 at Mavericks Football Club. He went on to make his Premier League debut for Claytons Kola Tonic Notre Dame four years later, before progressing to inaugural winners of the Capelli Super Cup Wales.
He also featured on the Under-15, Under-17, Under-20 and Under-23 national teams, and was part of the Under-17 contingent who enjoyed a week-long training stint at Boca Juniors in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 2018.
“Getting the call up I was very excited because it was a long journey. I think it is a great opportunity and a stepping stone to where I really want to be as a professional footballer,” he said.
However, he said he could not have made it this far without the support of his family and friends and gave special thanks to his former coaches Marlon Harte and Renaldo “Pee Wee” Gilkes for their huge efforts in his development as a player.
Applewhaite said despite his father’s concern about COVID-19 and the looming uncertainties, he was excited to spread his wings and leave the nest.
He leaves the island in August to join the Cougars.