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Sunday, March 7, 2021

W-League young gun moves overseas

Despite missing her dogs, Tim-Tams and the warm Aussie weather young Jets star Reneé Pountney has made the move across the ocean.

The 20-year-old accepted a soccer scholarship from Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska to pursue her soccer dreams.

Pountney was motivated to make the move after hearing about the glowing reputation of college soccer in the United States.

“I’ve always wanted to travel with soccer, so I thought if I can travel, and get an education for free pretty much because of scholarships, I thought: ‘Well, why not?’” Pountney said.

“Instead of [going to] university at home getting a HECS debt, I’m over here, playing soccer and getting to travel around America.”

Pountney is undertaking a degree in Psychology while playing, and is enjoying life in the city known for its steaks.

“It’s very different, I’ve been realising a lot of words that I say aren’t the right words to say,” she said.

“So [it’s been] a big culture change, and the way they run school here is very different, so the first couple of weeks it was really hard to try and get into the rhythm with everything.”

Pountney first started playing soccer at the age of six, and is a fast and energetic forward who grew up idolising both global and local stars.

“A big [role model] would probably be Cristiano Ronaldo, because he was just so famous and well known,” she said.

“As I got older I started to know more women’s players, so Gemma Simon, who’s local to Newcastle, was another.”

She made four appearances for the Newcastle Jet’s in the W-League last season, providing one assist and netting one goal in the process.

Pountney said the nerve-racking experience of making her debut for her hometown club, and the elation of scoring her first goal was one of her best memories.

“My coach was like “are you ready to go on the field?”, and I was like: ‘I don’t think so’,” she said.

“Scoring the goal was just the best feeling ever, a home crowd at the stadium was so much fun, and to have such a good team around me made that goal even better.”

While she misses the country she calls home, Pountney has plans to use her soccer skills to travel the world and take her professional career to the international arena.

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