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Jesse's joy at landing US scholarship

PUBLISHED: 11:59 05 August 2009 | UPDATED: 15:06 14 July 2010

Jesse with the trophy for being top goal scorer for Newton Flotman.

Jesse with the trophy for being top goal scorer for Newton Flotman.

Ace striker Jesse Payne-Wilkins, from Mulbarton, has just been offered an academic/sports scholarship at an American college.

He will be at Cayuga Community College, New York state, for two years before transferring into a four-year American university to complete a sport-related Major and to play football.

Ace striker Jesse Payne-Wilkins, from Mulbarton, has just been offered an academic/sports scholarship at an American college.

He will be at Cayuga Community College, New York state, for two years before transferring into a four-year American university to complete a sport-related Major and to play football.

Jesse, 22, said: “I was extremely happy to be offered the opportunity to play in America, and excited. I'm a bit apprehensive. It's going to be a good experience, but leaving is going to be a bit daunting.”

He added: “The great thing about playing in America is that you get to train six days a week on some of the best facilities in the world. Sporting Chance USA told me that I would have a great chance of gaining a scholarship award and fortunately that has been the case.”

Last season's top goal scorer for Anglian Combination Division Four side Newton Flotman, Jesse netted 18 goals in just 22 games.

He started playing football as a five-year-old, progressing through Mulbarton FC juniors before playing for the adult side.

At Mulbarton he won the Players' Player of the Year, the Manager's Player of the Year and the Young Player of the Year awards.

Jesse, who has also represented Norfolk at swimming, also played mid-week for the Easton College Men's Soccer Academy in Norwich.

He is due to fly out to America in late August to join his new team-mates and will be immediately faced with a two game per week programme, as well as training. Going to play and study in the USA will be more cost effective for Jesse than going to a UK university, as his scholarship includes tuition fees, accommodation, food and insurance.

Jesse is doing a sponsored run on Friday to raise funds to go towards the scholarship.

He has set up a website which people can look at and through which they can donate money.

This website is: http://RunToAmerica.webs.com

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