Report by Womens Soccer Scene
Page last updated at 10:51PM GMT, Wednesday, 06 February 2013
Addicks midfielder Annabel Prior has signed a valuable contract to play for LA Tech University ladies soccer team in the prestigious USA Conference League.
Annabel flies out to Louisiana in August for pre-season training. Only 2% of women soccer players get to sign contracts for Division 1 in the US.
Speaking at a contract signing event today (Wednesday), Annabel said: "This is a dream come true. From the age of six I have played football and have always wanted to play at a high level. Going to LA Tech gives me this opportunity."
In return for playing soccer for the University, Annabel has been awarded a scholarship to fund university education and costs of living. The contracts are initially for 12 months, extending to four years. In total, these contracts are worth over US$100,000 to each girl.
Help in identifying these opportunities and securing the girls' scholarships was provided by Girl Scholar USA, a relatively new local company based in Croydon. Company Founder and Director, Amy Price, said: "I am absolutely delighted for Annabel. She has played junior football at the highest levels in the UK, and her contracts to play in America is testament to her talent. I am especially pleased that Girl Scholar USA has been able to play an important role in securing her scholarship towards longer-term development. I wish Annabel every success in her future football career."
Annabel, aged 17, attends Overton Grange sixth form. She started her football career at the age of six, playing in the West Sutton Little League in Cheam Park, as well as being a formidable striker in Sutton's Avenue Primary School team. At the age of 11 she was selected to join Fulham's Centre of Excellence and latterly moved to Chelsea's Centre of Excellence. Last season Annabel was a member of Chelsea's Double winning U17s Centre of Excellence Team who won the league and then the FA Junior Cup Final against Arsenal. Annabel signed for the Addicks during the summer when she moved into senior football and has been a regular member of our Reserves this season.
LA Tech University is based in Ruston, Louisiana. The University was founded in 1894 and is now one of the top universities in the country, with high graduation rates and sporting achievements. In recent years, over $200 million has been spent to ensure the highest quality of sports facilities are available on-campus, including a 30,000-seater football stadium.
Charlton Athletic would like to wish Annabel every success in her academic & football venture state side