18 year old attacker Ewan Lynch is off to America, to play football and study at the University of Indianapolis as part of a four year course.
Lynch is a former Binfield youth and reserve team player and last season played for Maidenhead United under Ascot United’s new assistant manager Aaron Steadman.
Football in Bracknell got in touch with Ewan about his big move and discuss everything from his early days with Whitegrove through to a senior debut at Binfield and the players who have influenced his career.
Let’s get started: What’s happening then? Off to America?
Yes, Indianapolis. A four year course at University studying as well as playing football full time.
Wow. How has this come about? Has it been something you’ve been working toward?
Been in process for a while. Had to submit a highlight video as well as take exams. I signed for an agency called Future Elite Sports. They had lots of contacts and helped me with advice and created my video for me. I attended a showcase game in Birmingham, around December time and various US coaches attended. Then from that have spoken/Skype’d various coaches and done research and decided Indianapolis is the best option for me. It’s been quite a lengthy process, sorting exams and had to apply for my US visa too which only got accepted recently.
Was it a bit of a nervous wait?
The closer it got, I got more excited. In the build up to the exams and games I attended to gather video I got nervous. And I would be when talking to coaches. The more research I did, I decided this was was best opportunity. I’ve been nervous to secure everything, when I first started the process, the idea was just an option, however now it seems very real and I am nervous now but really looking forward to it.
I was nervous waiting for my exam results in particular, I’d feel comfortable playing in the games but the exams were something completely different and could really effect my scholarship contribution. The best football colleges also need the best grades
A steep learning curve then! Tell us a little about Future Elite Sports. How did they get involved?
I initially just researched how scholarships work after knowing a few people who had gone over. I’d seen various companies on twitter but Future Elite Sports looked the most professional from the start. I spoke to a couple of agencies but had a meeting with Dafydd Jones in London around May 2017 I reckon.
He discussed how the agency works, how finances work and the opportunities that I could make for myself. After discussing with Dafydd in the meeting with myself and my dad, we decided it was a fantastic opportunity and Dafydd became my representative.
From then on they helped with gym plans, contacts, editing my video, general advice regards to school and football, exam advice and arranging showcase games with top cameras to capture footage. Dafydd was always willing to talk over message with any advice. Without them I would’ve had no contacts and they gave me those and discussed with coaches about what type of player I was and whether it fitted their needs
How did your parents feel about an agency being involved?
It’s just my Dad now,, he came to the initial meeting and spoke to coaches via Skype too before we decided where best to go. He is supportive as he knows this is what I want to do and believes it’s the best option too.
We’ve done our own research about the agency and also University of Indianapolis. He is supportive and believes this is a fantastic opportunity for me to be getting an education while playing at the highest level possible. He was impressed to see the highlight video at the end and various matches that he hadn’t seen too.
Watch: Ewan’s highlight video from last season
Tell us a bit about your football career to date. Where did you start?
It’s been a good journey, started grass roots playing for Whitegrove FC from like aged 4/5. Played for around 10 years for them and met some top people there who I am very close with now. I went through a tough time aged 12/13 and a lot of those people who helped me were because of that club. I was always playing around division 2/3 East Berks Saturday morning league.
I then joined a Sunday team in Finchampstead United and had two good seasons there, getting 3 player of the season awards. In my last season for Whitegrove I managed to score 52 goals.
Up to this point I’d always thought of football as just fun and never took it very seriously, I was always very average despite thinking I was amazing and always thought I’d go pro one day despite playing at a low level.
Then I made the tough decision to leave Whitegrove which at the time felt like the biggest decision ever. I played East Berks Division 1 for a team called Hurst before trialling for Binfield for the 16/17 season.
I had a really enjoyable season at Binfield. I had a shocking Allied Counties Youth League debut in the FA Youth Cup hitting the woodwork four times in a game against Maidenhead United.
Five days later I scored on my Reserve Team debut aged 16. As I said I had a good season winning the Allied title and played a lot for Ellis Woods in the reserves, a manager who showed a lot of faith in me when I wasn’t playing at my best. I then played for the first team for Roger Herridge in the Cup semi final aged 17 and believe I was the youngest player to have played for them (at the time!).
I then decided to sign for Maidenhead United. I had a mixed season for them, scoring on my under 18s debut but the whole team had ambitions to win trophies and unfortunately we didn’t. I learnt a lot again and was part of the under 18s county team who got to the semi final, starting in every game I was available for (balancing Tesco work too!) but was unfortunately was unavailable for the final.
I also was involved with U23’s and had a short spell with Highmoor Ibis towards the end of the season. I found it hard balancing school and football once I started taking it more seriously. But up until aged 15 was very average before getting the desire to play at the highest level I could hopefully this season/year will be easier to balance everything and I can give football everything
Thinking about the states, where will you stay? Are you going alone?
I’m staying on campus with two other boys who I am in contact with who are American. After first year, people tend to move in a house with members of the team. I am going over alone, I am the only first year from England
Which players have you learned the most from?
Ronaldo is someone I’ve looked at as inspiration, complete athlete through hard work. Harry Kane is someone I really wan to play like, goal scorer. Had a tough journey too.
Locally I learnt a lot playing with Mo Davies, when I was in poor form, he really helped me and turned my season round. Playing with some quality players this year like Nathan Minhas, JC Etienne and Zidane Akers has helped me too. Was playing with and challenging with players of really high quality this season.
Is there a coach you’d like to namecheck?
There’s a few sorry! John Poulston, Jim Craske, Ellis Woods at Binfield, I finished that season a completely different player.
Aaron Steadman, Aaron O’Brien and Dan Masters this year at Maidenehead. Too many to mention but Main three – Ellis Woods for the faith he showed in me and many opportunities. Aaron Steadman, involvement in U23 football helped me massively, he personally helped me a lot off the pitch too. Aaron O’Brien as well, my involvement in county U18’s was an unreal experience.
Top mangers i’m sure will go on to top things. In fact any manager that has taught me anything I am grateful for.
Last one.. when you graduate in four years time where do you want to be?
Hopefully I will come back a completely different player. I am planning on coming home with an education secured after the 4 years. I am just going to work my hardest and see what level I am at football wise and then assess my options both work and football wise. Hopefully I will be a much better player than I am currently and will be able to play at a good level. Hopefully I’ll have a better idea what I want to do profession wise and know I’ve given everything to football whilst i’m away and see what opportunities occur there too.