Footballer McArthur lands scholarship at Chicago State University

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Senior Men’s National Team and Fruta Conquerors forward Nicholas McArthur has been offered the opportunity to take up a three-year soccer scholarship at Chicago State University, thanks to the intervention of the Alex Bunbury Sports and Academics Academy (ABSAA).

Nineteen-year-old McArthur, currently in training with the Golden Jaguars ahead of FIFA World Cup qualifiers in March, will now be able to showcase his talents on a first division U.S. college platform – the highest level of intercollegiate sports sanctioned by the National Collegiate Athletic Association.

“I’m very happy. Thank you to Mr. Alex Bunbury and the Federation for this stepping stone,” McArthur said during a ceremony to celebrate the announcement at the Guyana Football Federation (GFF) in Georgetown.

“I want to be a professional footballer. I want to play for PSG (Paris Saint-Germain). That is where my idol Kylian Mbappé plays – I want to be just like him.”

Plaisance-born former Canadian international Bunbury, who played for U.S. Major League Soccer team Kansas City Wizards, West Ham in the English Premier League and top tier Portuguese side Maritimo, said the ABSAA organisation was proud to create this opportunity and planned to open more doors for young Guyanese talent within the U.S. college system.

“This is a great moment for Guyana’s football. I saw an opportunity for this young man who I believe has all the credentials and talent to showcase his God-given ability representing Guyana,” Bunbury said.

“This will give him an opportunity to be visible on a big stage and an opportunity to be an inspiration for other young people. This programme has been assisted by the GFF and we are planning to do more of this. We have more opportunities coming. We believe this is the start of something really special.”

Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport Charles Ramson Jr. praised Bunbury’s efforts and urged McArthur to lead by example and make the most of the opportunity.

“This is a great example of how the diaspora can impact Guyana,” Ramson said. “Keep pushing the envelope in wanting to give back and understanding that this is where you are from.”

“There are a lot of young people who want to be able to find a pathway for their passion and they want to be able to see examples that can inspire them,” he told McArthur. “There are a lot of people who you will be inspiring just by doing this, so understand that you bear an additional responsibility.”

GFF President Wayne Forde said McArthur, who has captained Guyana at the U-20 level and starred in qualifiers for the Concacaf U-20 Championship last year, had the potential to make a big impression on the U.S. college soccer scene and to pave the way for more Guyanese to follow in his footsteps.

“Nicholas, you are going to be a trailblazer for many players after you,” Forde said. “It is so important that you are a good ambassador and set the right example, so there is an added incentive for the coaching staff and management of the college to want to offer similar opportunities to the players that will come after you. Congratulations to Mr. Alex Bunbury for networking and doing everything he has done to make this happen.” (GFF)

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