For the first instalment of HSC’s American University feature, Vishal Saha caught up with former 1st XI captain and star centre-back, George Maxwell OH (2019).
Which US university did you decide to apply to and why?
I now go to College of Charleston in South Carolina. For me, the decision was made by speaking to the coaches at the university and trusting them, and also the location of the university as Charleston is ranked as one is the best cities in the States.
What has it been like moving from the UK to the US? How did you feel you are settling and how is the social side?
At the start it was strange moving so far from home. The biggest thing to adjust to was the weather, as when I first joined in the summer each day was around 35 degrees, so training was a lot harder than I was used to. I’m just about to finish my first semester and have settled in really well, a lot of that thanks to the boys on the team who I’ve become good mates with.
What’s the difference between the American coaches’ game approach to the sport compared to the ones you have had to before?
My experience so far has that it’s not been too different. I actually have 2 coaches on our staff from the UK so they have very similar ideas to me and coaches I’ve had before. I’d say the main difference in the style of play is the emphasis put on athleticism, generally players may not be as technical, but will be really physically developed.
What are your plans or aspirations for your footballing career?
My main goal at the moment is to keep working hard at Charleston and to try and win the conference championship in the next 3 seasons. After Charleston, if there is an opportunity to turn professional, I would love to do that, but we’ll see what the future holds!
Captaining last year’s winning ESFA team, describe how confident you feel entering this process and why?
It did give me a boost coming to America coming off the back of last season. Winning the ESFA Cup was incredible, but I think the season as a whole really gave me the confidence I needed to come here and hit the ground running – it was an amazing year and I have great memories from my time as a 1st XI player.
Many Hampton boys have been inspired by your performances – do you have any tips for anyone trying to follow your path?
In terms of looking at American universities for football, the main thing is to have good match footage, a good ACT/SAT score and to know what type of University you are wanting to attend. Good luck to any boys who are trying to do the same!
This piece was the first in HSC’s American University series. The next post will be uploaded next Wednesday.