FORMER Cork City WFC player Evelyn Daly who took up a soccer scholarship in the States 18 months ago is absolutely loving life stateside.
The former Lakewood and Ireland underage star has seen a different side to life while in the States and thanks to her ability at soccer, which gave her the scholarship opportunity in the first place, she now intends to use this to the full and pursue a career in American Law, as well as playing the game she loves.
“I attend California State University, Bakersfield,” Daly said. “It is situated in Southern California, two hours north of LA and four hours south of San Francisco.
“What a place to be. I love it. I love life in the States.
“The people, the lifestyle, in general, is unbelievable.
“I never understood how a clear blue sky can affect your mood so much. Waking up to sunshine every day is truly amazing and I love it.
“I have met so many fantastic people that I will be friends for life with because of soccer.
“I love my teammates and coaching staff and it is truly like a second family for me being so far away from home.
“I would not swap my life for anything else.”
Leaving home as a teenager was difficult at first for the former Lakewood star, however, as soon as she settled in, she knew playing football in the States was definitely for her.
“It was hard to settle in at first I must admit. That first month is the hardest when you arrive. But once that month is over it becomes easier.
“It takes some getting used their way of life and how they do things such as sayings, slang for example 'trunk of a car' rather than boot of a car, 'cleats' instead of boots etc.
“It was difficult the first month as I said being away from home but after that, it’s so enjoyable.”
Playing at a decent level in the States, Daly has seen her game improve massively and for the coming year, she hopes she can progress even more and keep developing as a player.
“I play at a D1 level which is the highest division in College soccer. The speed of play is a lot faster in America than back at home.
“They are not afraid to attack. Americans love to dribble at people and shoot for goal and that is what I love.
“Fitness is a major factor and is key in winning games alongside skill of course so for me, I have always been full of energy anyhow.
“I have two and a half years left in college before I graduate. I’m not allowed work while attending college because I am on a Student Visa which does not permit to work, so all my focus is on study and football which is great really.
“Apart from football, school keeps us occupied. They always want the best for you in your education.
“On the weekend if we are not busy with school work or soccer, we might take a trip down to LA or Santa Monica to the beach.
“But the majority of the time we chill out at our apartment and hang out friends. It’s a fabulous way of life.”
Education is certainly something Daly is serious about and she is thoroughly enjoying her course in which she hopes to pursue a career in as soon as she finishes college.
“I’m studying Criminal Justice and I am finding it very interesting. I love law and law enforcement and find it very interesting and educational. I hope to one day become a police officer or be involved in law enforcement.”
So what are Daly’s hopes for 2019 and will we ever see her return to play with Cork City in the future?
“I hope to have a good school year, explore different parts of America and meet new people along the way and to also have a good soccer season. I plan on staying in the States for the remainder of my life.
“The opportunities and the lifestyle I love. “The weather is so nice and I am very interested in law enforcement in America and would love a career in it.
“I don’t plan on returning to Ireland after college as I hope to get my green card so that I could live here. I know this is a huge decision but it is one I am really serious about.
“But if I do ever move back there is always a possibility that I will try and play for Cork City once again.
“It’s where I’m from and It will always be my home and my club. But for now, my dream is to continue playing in the States and pursue a career here in law.”