A young footballer from Shoreham is making a big impression in the United States – and has landed a major honour.
Lauren Amerena has been named a winner of the ‘All American’ honour after her performances this season for Laramie County Community College (LCCC) in Wyoming.
Dad Colin has told the Herald of the family’s pride in all she has achieved since first playing football while at primary school.
“She’s the girl from Shoreham Beach who’s won an All American women’s soccer honour,” he said.
Amerena, who has just turned 21, first became interested in football while she was a pupil at Shoreham Beach Primary School.
Colin said: “She entered a girls’ competition set up by the Sussex County FA to encourage girls to play.
“Straight away it was obvious
she had a natural talent for the game and in 2012 she joined Hangleton Girls FC.
“By 2016 with a great bunch of talented girls, she had won about everything there was to win.
“The next move was to Lewes Women’s development squad and regular call-ups for Sussex representative teams.
“After Lauren had left high school at Shoreham Academy she decided to go to Cardinal Newman sixth form and the Lewes FC Academy, where the idea came about of her going to the USA to play and study.
“She needed to get game footage for a showcase video so she followed her Sussex manger to Saltdean United, where she got the video done that allowed the coaches in the US to see her abilities.
“LCCC, Wyoming, was her choice – it’s a division one college – and she hit the ground running, opening her account with a 30-yard screamer and making regular first-team starts. This past season, she has gone from strength to strength, finishing top scorer at LCCC and making the coaches’’ regional XI.
“Now, to top it all, she has been awarded the national All American honour.”
For next season, Amerena is srarting a new chapter after being awarded a full scholarship to the College of Saint Rose in New York State.
Colin added: “It’s not bad for a girl from Shoreham-by-Sea! The future looks bright.”
The Covid pandemic means the past year or so has not all been plain sailing for Amerena.
Her dad said she had only been able to fly home once in recent months and he added: “She caught Covid mid-season and missed several games, but she still remained top scorer.
“I’ve not been able to visit her out there, which would have been nice.
“But she has made a lot of friends and the school and coaches have been really kind and welcoming towards her.
“She is really proud to receive the All American honour.”