National goalkeeper Nashton Browne is off to Essex County College, New Jersey, having secured a partial two-year scholarship.
Browne who is set to begin studying mechanical engineering, and hopefully a foreign language, from August 11, said he was looking forward to the exposure in the sport as he believed it would assist him in his dream of becoming a professional footballer in the MLS.
The 20-year-old, who is also a graduate of the Barbados Soccer Academy (BSA), said he still needed US$3 800 to complete the fee requirements after receiving his acceptance letter, but was working towards his goal and was scheduled to leave the island next weekend.
“Being able to go on a partial scholarship is very exciting for me. It has always been a dream for me to go and excel in my goal, and through college I can do that. It is a great opportunity and I am glad that I took it. I am going to grab it with both hands and excel in both my dreams and my studies,” he said excitedly.
The long-standing Paradise player, who is also a former defensive midfielder, was last on loan to the University of the West Indies Blackbirds, and before that was on loan to Britons Hill. He has also played at the national Under-17, Under-20 and Under-23 levels, after being successful at the Under-14, Under-16 and Under-19 divisions in the Barbados Secondary Schools’ League as a student at St Leonard’s Boys’ School. At the BSA he pursued football and academics, under the direction of director Jaabez "Jack" Bovell, and was able to secure the scholarship to the United States college.
Browne, who considers himself a YouTube goalkeeper after watching numerous videos to better himself as custodian, said while he was passionate about his craft, playing with the senior men’s national team kept him on his toes and pushed him to excel as a player, both mentally and physically, and prepared him for the level of intensity and hard work he needed to apply going forward.
“There has been a few coaches, Augustus Jacobs, Rudy Pinder and Kenville Layne, who kept me on the straight and narrow path and pushed me to do my best. They have also educated me in life and in the sport, and helped me coming up in my youth at Paradise. Fabian Messiah and Wayne Williams played a big part in my growth, but all my thanks goes out to my mother; she pushed every single day,” he said.
Browne, who recently came off tour with the senior squad for the FIFA 2022 World Cup Qualifiers and the Concacaf Gold Cup, also thanked Barbados Football Association’s head coach Russell Latapy for giving him the opportunity to train with the team and better his craft.