The man who captained Blackpool’s U18s side to the semi-finals of the FA Youth Cup has received a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to play football in the USA.
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Ben Jacobson, who was recently let go by the Seasiders after seven years with the club, has agreed to start a scholarship at the Savannah College of Art and Design, a university based on the east coast of America.
There he will play for SCAD men’s soccer team while studying a four-year degree in Film and TV.
“It’s a great prospect for me,” Jacobson told The Gazette.
“The minute I spoke to the coaches at SCAD and heard about their plans it was a pretty easy decision.
“The Lancashire FA got in touch and asked if I was interested so they sent off my CV and a compilation of my video clips.
“Within a week about 25 universities based in America offered me the opportunity to discuss the chance to go over there.
“I was looking at the courses they offered and the standard of football as well as speaking to the coaches at the universities.
“I think SCAD stood out since day one. From that point it was something I couldn’t turn down.
“From Myerscough College to Savannah for training is a bit of a difference but I just can’t wait to get started in August.”
Having been part of a double-winning team the season before, Jacobson played a leading role in Blackpool’s run to the last four of the cup.
They saw off teams including West Ham United, Southampton and Blackburn Rovers before being beaten by Arsenal.
He added: “I turned down options to go to clubs in England, Scotland and abroad to do this, so it’s something I’ve thought carefully about.
“The whole two years during my time at Blackpool, winning the league and the Lancashire FA Youth Cup in my first year before the FA Youth Cup run in my second year, it’s an experience you can’t buy.
“I was disappointed not to get a pro deal because it was a club I had been at since I was 11. I had come through their academy, and from the feedback I had received throughout the year I was disappointed not to get a deal.
“But at the end of the day, that’s football and the opportunity I’ve now got at SCAD really excites me.”