Introducing our new monthly blog feature, where we shine the spotlight on one of the thousands of athletes that Soccer Assist has worked with to help study in America on a soccer scholarship.
Our first featured athlete is Gifanho Lubaki who attended a Soccer Assist Trial Day in London back in 2017.
Gifanho stood out with his combative and dominant display and was immediately offered a place on the Soccer Assist programme. We successfully negotiated a top scholarship for Gifanho at Lassen College to attend in California 2017. Whilst studying for a degree in Marketing Gifanho has gone on to represent both College Soccer Teams known as the Lassen Cougars and now with UHV Jaguars.
Some of his achievements include;
- Winning a conference championship in California
- Transferring to University of Houston-Victoria and again win a Conference Championship
- Making the ‘All-Tournament’ team
- Going undefeated throughout a season. 7-0-2 (Win-Loses-Draws)
- Making an appearance in the ‘National Tournament’
How did you find out about Soccer Assist?
They approached my father after a game I played against them back in 2017. I was playing for Pits Football, a place I would go to train to develop my skills whenever I wasn’t training with my main team.
What made you decide to go down the American College route?
Actually, I didn’t really want to go at first. Soccer Assist approached my father on more than one occasion. I then realised that they were serious and that this could be a good route for me. So after a couple of discussions I decided that this is what I wanted to do and I was all in! The opportunities in America and the fact Soccer Assist were able to help me get a top soccer scholarship meant that I could take a positive step towards my ultimate goal – Playing Professionally.
What made you choose Lassen College and what was life like there for you?
Lassen College chose me. The time we had was tight and whilst a few Colleges had contacted me through Soccer Assist, I wasn’t too sold on them for reasons such as location, programme, finance or the approach from the coach. The coach at Lassen was one I could relate with the most and it was in California.
Life at first was tough as I was 17, it took around 6 months to get out my shell but it forced me to grow and mature – The grind got real.
If you had to compare yourself to any professional footballer, who would it be?
David Alaba or Joshua Kimmich when playing defence. Tanguy Ndombele or N’golo Kante in midfield.
Who did you play for when you were a kid growing up in the UK?
I played at a good level before heading to America, which definitely helps when applying for a scholarship. I played for Dulwich Hamlet and Crown & Manner.
What can you tell us about the level you are playing at now at College in America?
It is a decent level out here. Don’t come into the process thinking it will be easy. The training is great and a lot of the matches are at a high level of competitiveness and quality.
What advice would you give anyone thinking of going to America to study on a Football/Soccer Scholarship?
To have a clear vision then work backwards. The reason being, the journey once stepping foot in America will be tough as you’ll be at the back foot from the get-go. From there how much drive and determination you have will translate to rewards, achievement and benefits. I like this question because if you’re able to ‘think’ of playing in America and live it, Then you can also ‘think’ about the life you dream of and actualise it.
Are you ready to start your journey to College in America?
If you are looking to study in America and think you are good enough for a soccer scholarship, simply complete the form below to find out how Soccer Assist can help you start your journey.
Upcoming Trial Days
- Manchester – TBC
- Birmingham – Sunday 14th March @ Castle Vale Stadium
- London – Sunday 28th March @ Rayners Lane FC
- Birmingham – Wednesday 18th August
- London – Monday 23rd August
Soccer Assist – the U.K.’s leading soccer scholarship agency