What many dream about is reality for Julia Ridder (17). She studies the aspiring goalkeeper in the United States, where she plays with her team Junior College In Yuma, Arizona. Julia now lives in the United States thanks to a scholarship from MADE Scholarships. “For me, the country has always had a certain attraction, because it is bigger and different from the Netherlands.”
Before leaving Julia for the United States in August 2021, she was part of the selection of the Utrecht Women’s Football Academy (UVVA) in the Netherlands. UVVA focuses on “enthusiastic players” and provides them with weekly additional training, in addition to their club activities. In addition, UVVA has a partnership with MADE grants. “On the UVVA blog, I read stories about girls who went to America on a scholarship. That sounded great to me, so I thought: I’ll sign up and see what happens.”
Choose the school that suits you
As soon as Julia scored via UVVA, the ball started rolling quickly. I got in touch with Dennis from MADE Scholarships, after which I got her profile online. Julia: “This profile has been sent to schools in the USA and Canada. Interested schools can contact me again.”
In total, more than twenty schools have expressed interest. “I searched for these schools online and started talking to their coaches. So in the end I chose this school in Yuma, because I felt good about it.”
Julia signed a one-year contract, with the intention of extending it for another year. “In the coming years I hope to develop myself a lot in football, so that I can attend a university in the United States afterwards. I really want that. I want to become a professional football player in the future. I will work hard to achieve that.”
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“Girls from America, Germany and Mexico play in the team”
At the time of this interview, Julia was on summer vacation, but that doesn’t mean she can relax all day. “Football has already started. During the day we all go to the gym, and in the evening we train for football. Women’s football is more developed in the United States than in the Netherlands. In my country College It is handled very professionally. For example, there is a lot of interest in stretching exercises, and the team has a psychiatrist who can help you if you are injured.”
Julia is very passionate about her team. “Everyone is very nice and caring. Especially since I’m new, they all want to be there for me and know more about me. If I need anything I can go for my teammates, it’s really cool. I’m the only Dutchman, but the team is very international. I play with Girls from Germany, England, America and Mexico.”
Good memories of UVVA
Julia says she has benefited greatly from the UVVA training sessions. why is that? “John (coach and founder of the academy), in my opinion, is a very good coach. He takes football very seriously and manages the training professionally. I also liked that at UVVA.”
Despite the fact that Julia can no longer train with the UVVA selection every week, she still keeps in touch. “I still talk to many of the girls on the team, and I also have contact with John every now and then. UVVA is really in my heart. I’ve also been invited to train with me when I come back to Holland in December, so cool.”
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Enthusiastic soccer players are always welcome
Do you also want to develop your soccer skills while training with ambitious girls just like you? In this case you are welcome to UVVA! Training courses are held at the COV DESTO and CVV Vriendenraag complex. In addition, UVVA and SV Spakenburg will begin regional youth training in Eemland from 22 September.
In addition to the weekly training offer, UVVA – in association with UVV Voetbal – has three UVVA selections. UVVA Mo19, Mo17 and Mo16 are now starting to prepare for the new football season. UVVA selections practice and play their home games at Sportpark De Paperclip.
If you want to get acquainted without obligation, you can sign up for a demo training. If you wish, you can register and participate more often. The weekly courses start in Utrecht on 19 September. Finally, a viewing tip: On September 5, UVVA can be admired in the Holland van Boven SBS6 programme.
Do you dream, like Julia, of playing football and studying in the United States? Read more about the UVVA and MADE partnership here. “Many guys signed this year,” says John Kersenhout, UVVA founder. “There are some who have a background with UV and have now left for the US. There are also a number of girls on their way to travel next year.“
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