Katie MacDonald a former Texas Rush player is now pursuing further education opportunities at Edinburgh University, Scotland. We spoke to Katie and her coach about the experience of studying abroad and playing ‘football’.
“Edinburgh University are the number 1 ranked soccer University in Scotland and 6th in the UK. As a club we are always looking to improve the quality of player every year. This year we have both our 1st and 2nd team in Division 1 after our 2nd team won promotion last season. The 1st team are current Scottish League and Cup Champions and have managed to maintain several players from last season which has helped us to push on further.
In September we welcomed many new players into the club and we are delighted that Katie was interested to be involved. From the 1st practice you could see the enthusiasm and positive attitude Katie brought to the team and in a short space of time the coaches have already seen improvements in her game. We are thankful for the coaches at Texas Rush for helping her develop and we are hopeful over the next 4 years Katie will progress further and represent the 1st on a regular basis. The University has 3 teams and the current 1st team includes players involved with Scotland u19 to competition to play in the match day 16 can be tough. Many 1st year players begin in the 2nd team to gain experience and confidence and making sure they get adequate game time which is crucial. We value Katie as a player and felt this was best for her right now but I believe if she keeps working hard in practice and having positive performances in matches it’s only a matter of time before she steps up.
We have had visiting teams play in Edinburgh before and would always welcome any players who want to study and play soccer in Scotland to check out www.euwafc.com and we would love to tour the USA one day if the opportunity arose.” Michael Ross, Edinburgh WAFC Coach.
Q. Katie, tell us about your degree of study, and how you plan to use it after graduation?
A. I am studying a BSc in Medical Sciences, which is essentially the biology and chemistry behind the medical practices commonplace today. So far we have mostly had an introduction to the course but in the next few years I will study a range of topics from pharmacology and immunology to ethics. After graduation I may stay on to do a masters or look to work with organisations such as GlaxoSmithKline or the World Heath Organization.
Q. What do you like the most about living and studying in Edinburgh?
A. Edinburgh is one of my favourite cities in the world and I am so happy to be studying here. It is such a beautiful city, and although it can get busy at times, what I love is that there are plenty of green spaces all over the city so you are always able to find a quiet spot when you want to.
Q. What do you miss the most about Texas?
A. I think what I miss most about Texas is the people. Everyone was so friendly and I made some of my closest friends in The Woodlands, many of whom I still talk to regularly although I haven’t seen in nearly 2 years. I also miss the Friday Night lights and NFL game-days, which are not quite the same in the UK.
Q. How did playing at Texas Rush help you prepare for the college environment?
A. Rush gave me such a supportive environment to play in, with all the coaches, parents and players acting like one big family. It was so easy to go to an extra training session to try to improve a specific aspect of your game. Although the coaches at Rush could be tough on you, they were always giving feedback. I think this has really helped me prepare for university where the competition for places on each team is very high.
Q. What advice would you give to a young Rush player aspiring to play in college?
A. Work hard and take advantage of all the opportunities that come your way. If you can stay for an extra training session, then do it. If your high school coach makes you do a lot of running, then take it seriously. Have fun because it will be over before you know it.