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Tranmere Rovers striker Jodie Taylor will be aiming to further her football career in the United States from next season. Jodie will be taking up a four-year Sports Science Scholarship course at the University of Oregon from mid-August.
Jodie, who celebrated her 18th birthday this week, was offered a place at Oregon a couple of weeks ago and, despite having applied for a place at Loughborough University in this country, decided that she would try her luck on the other side of the Atlantic. "I'm looking forward to it so much," Jodie told Women's Soccer Scene. "They have a good soccer programme at Oregon, and they are also in the National Pool so they will play against the big names. Jo Fletcher, one of my former team mates at Tranmere and now with Doncaster Belles, was also there a few years ago.
"It will give me a great chance to train every day and work on my game as well as studying. Our coach was once on the books of Bayern Munich and used to be a striker, so hopefully I will be able to learn a lot directly from him. I'm hoping that daily training will make me a lot sharper and fitter, as well as improving my strength."
Jodie has been one of the rising young players in the last few seasons and broke into the Tranmere first team at the age of 15. A broken leg halted her progress for six months but she returned back in September. In all she scored 29 goals in 38 first team appearances, including seven of Tranmere's eleven league goals in this campaign which unfortunately ended in relegation. Jodie revealed it will be a wrench to leave.
"I've enjoyed it at Tranmere, after all I have been there since I was eleven. I owe Louise Edwards and Shirley Waring so much, I am grateful for everything they've done for me and I wouldn't be here without them. I'll still be in contact with Tranmere while I'm away and if they can hang on to their best players I am sure they can make it back up - I certainly hope so."
At the end of the season, Jodie received her first call-up for the England under-19s and she was a member of the squad who narrowly missed out on qualifying for the UEFA Championships. "It was a good experience in France, but I'm disappointed we didn't qualify. We were unlucky as we had probably the hardest group of the lot."
But now Jodie is heading off for pastures new. "I shall be going in August, a couple of weeks before the season starts so I can do pre-season training, and the season will last at least until November, depending on how successful we are. This is as close to being a professional that I can come and maybe the pro league in America will be re-launched before I finish there. To play professionally when I've finished would be brilliant, so let's wait and see what happens!"
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