Jo's stateside challenge

PUBLISHED: 12:30 26 July 2007 | UPDATED: 15:10 12 May 2010

Jo Rutherford: “Good time to play football in America.” - Pic: Daniel Wilson 2487DW5

Jo Rutherford: "Good time to play football in America." - Pic: Daniel Wilson 2487DW5

DAVID Beckham is not the only English footballer trying to crack the States. Ambitious Jo Rutherford is also set for transatlantic travel and hopes to secure a football and academic scholarship. The 17-year-old will fly out for a nine-day trial at the ac

DAVID Beckham is not the only English footballer trying to crack the States.

Ambitious Jo Rutherford is also set for transatlantic travel and hopes to secure a football and academic scholarship.

The 17-year-old will fly out for a nine-day trial at the acclaimed Hofstra University in Long Island, New York, on Saturday, for what promises to be a gruelling programme of physical fitness.

She said: "I know the trials will be hard, because all the colleges are big on fitness. I'm expecting it to be tough, but at the same time a great experience."

The self-confessed Tottenham fan also feels women's football in America is of a higher standard - a standard she believes will make her a better player.

"The profile of ladies football, or soccer as they call it, is very high. At the moment I've got a fair bit to learn, so I'm only going to benefit from this trip as a player," she said.

Jo, who attends Freman College, Buntingford, hopes to follow in the footsteps of one of her favourite players - Hertfordshire-born Kelly Smith.

She said: "Kelly has had a fantastic career after moving to America, and became one of the greatest female players.

"She's a great role model, and to be half as good as she is would be unbelievable."

Watford ladies striker Jo, who has also played for the England under-19s, also cites Beckham as another of her favourite players, and believes his arrival across the pond will not only boost the men's game, but the women's as well.

She said: "It's definitely a good time to go and play football in America, especially with Beckham being there.

"I think he'll be brilliant for the game and will raise the profile of both men's and women's soccer enormously.

"He'll get more people involved and recognising the sport. It's a good move and I think he will do well."

Jo will look to incorporate her passion for both sport and technology when deciding on a scholarship, and hopes to enrol on a degree course.

She said: "I would love to be offered a scholarship, so hopefully I can do well and impress the coaches. This is a great opportunity.

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