GREAT Western soccer player Jason Wilksch is preparing for the adventure of a lifetime.
Wilksch will travel to the US in July to take up a four-year scholarship at the Southwestern Christian University in Oklahoma.
The 19-year-old, who has been playing soccer with Horsham and District Soccer Club since 2009, will study business administration while playing college soccer through the National Scouting Report Australia program.
Wilksch said he hoped to make the most of his time overseas.
“It gives you so much opportunity,” he said.
“You get to stay on campus, play soccer and study – you don’t really get that opportunity here.
“The fall term and the season starts in August, so I’ll be going over in late July.”
Wilksch said he had gone through a lengthy selection process.
“In about March 2012 I got picked to trial for the NSR scholarship in Ballarat with about 65 other players,” he said.
“The next stage was an interview with one of the NSR reps in Ballarat and you had to talk about your academic levels and he talked a bit about college life.
“A couple of weeks later I got an acceptance letter – only about 10 boys and five girls from around Ballarat got through.
“Nationally there are about 100 boys and 75 girls.”
The teenage centre-back has been among the Horsham Falcons’ best players this season in Ballarat and District Soccer Association’s open division three competition.
Falcons senior coach Mick Clark – who also coached Wilksch in the Falcons’ under-17 premiership in 2011 – said the young defender was a developing prospect.
“He really puts his heart and soul into it,” he said.
“He’s a very important part of our backline, he attacks the ball and he’s gradually improving.
“He’s first to training, last to leave and always has a ball with him, and those sort of things generally improve your game.”
Wilksch said it had been a productive season.
“We’ve lost a couple of games by a few goals, but we’re still learning a bit so it’s been good so far,” he said.
“It’s a pretty even competition and a good standard in our division.”
The Wimmera teenager said he was not looking too far into the future just yet despite the opportunities in front of him.
“I’m not really expecting too much, it’s better to take things one at a time and see what happens,” he said.