Kim McAlpine (18) is set for the adventure of a lifetime as she prepares to swap Banknock for Tennessee this August.
The Central Girls Academy winger is moving to Carson-Newman University on a scolarship and will study P.E. teaching and sports coaching whilst playing football.
Kim is yet to live away from home, but remains excited by the prospect of her first home from home being in the United States.
“I’m really excited to start something new. It’s going to be amazing when I get over there.
“It’s just getting over there and leaving my family and stuff - but they have always supported me to do this.”
Kim, born in Newcastle, says her family living south of the border have been a great help - along with her mum, Susan.
“They said to go for it, to try my hardest. They are all a bit upset but tell me it’s the opportunity of a lifetime.”
Despite being born in Newcastle, Kim has spent the vast majority of her life living in Banknock and has played for Central Girls Academy for several years.
Kim says the Grangemouth club have been “fantastic” to her and she hopes to play for the club and coach Ian Dibdin again after her scholarship.
“They have done everything for me. Our coach Ian Dibdin has done everything for us players. He has made us the players we are today.
“He has put us through everything, got us into Scotland squads, won us championships.
“I would happily come back and play for Central Academy again.”
Kim and Ellie, who she describes as her best friend, were in the USA at the Disney International Cup last summer, but she has been on the radar of her host university for some time.
“When I was 16 I got offered a place at Carson-Newman but I thought I was too young.
“They have offered me it now, but I have known about the offer for a couple of years.
“They have given me the best offer, they have offered me absolutely everything.
“As I have got better as a player they have offered me a better scholarship. I’m glad that I waited.”
Although Kim’s best friend Ellie will be joining her in the USA, the two will be 540 miles apart for the duration of their stay, with Ellie further south in Alabama.
Kim, though, is over the moon for her friend, who she actually convinced to start playing football again after Ellie had taken a year and a half away from the game.
“We play football together and are always with each other outside of football too.
“It’s going to be hard because she is moving to a different place, but she got offered an amazing scholarship and she deserves it a lot so I’m really happy for her.”
Making new friends won’t be a problem for Kim. In fact, she is even meeting some of her team mates before flying over to Tennessee.
“There’s a couple of Irish girls going over. They are going to come and meet me in Scotland before I go so it’s not as hard when I get there. So that makes it much better.”
Kim, who describes herself as an all-rounder, leaves for the States in August with her scholarship lasting for four years.