Guernsey's Sydney Schreimaier, who last month joined Brighton & Hove Albion under 21s, has secured funding to help with her living costs while she pursues her football dream.
After trialling with the club over the summer, the 17-year-old is living with a host family in Worthing while training with the Dual Career Academy and completing her A levels at Worthing College. The Guernsey Football Association, Spirit and Ravenscroft have now come together to sponsor her.
‘Sydney has shown incredible commitment and determination to be selected for Brighton & Hove and we wanted to be able to support her on her journey to becoming a professional footballer. It was clear from speaking to her coach at St Martin’s FC and to her family just how dedicated she is and so the GFA, Spirit and Ravenscroft wanted to play a small part in helping her achieve her dream,’ said Gary Roberts, CEO of the GFA.
Sydney is studying A levels in chemistry, maths and biology and is juggling her studies with an intense training schedule as well as the challenge of living away from home.
‘She is loving the football and settling into college. It’s been a huge change for all of us but we couldn’t deny her the opportunity once she had been offered it. She loves her football and it is her dream to play professionally,’ said her mother Justine Clay.
‘But it is expensive and so the support of Ravenscroft, GFA and Spirit is just incredible and really takes a big weight off our shoulders. I know Sydney was worried about it as well so now she can just concentrate on her football and her studies. It’s amazing and we can’t thank them enough.’
Darren Le Tissier, who coached Sydney at St Martin’s FC, said that he was delighted that Sydney had been selected.
‘Sydney came up through the ranks of St Martin’s, was in the Ravenscroft Girls Player Development Centre and the Mourant Girls Football Academy. She has bubbly personality, is determined and doesn’t shy away from getting involved. What is important is that for many years she has been giving back by coaching minis and inspiring the next generation,’ he said.
Le Tissier, father of fellow Brighton player Maya, said the club was a great place for young footballers.
‘It’s a very joined up club which has invested heavily in women’s football and are now seeing the fruits of their labour. This is a great opportunity for Sydney but it won’t be an easy journey because there are so many more players coming through. The support she is receiving from GFA, Spirit and Ravenscroft will make a big difference and hopefully Sydney will inspire others from Guernsey to give it a go,’ he said.