From Weston to Wyoming, football has taken Jemma House a long way and the amazing journey is only beginning.
House, 19, begins the next leg when she flies out the United States on Tuesday for her second season with junior college team Laramie Community College, in Wyoming.
She returns with as an All-American team member and national and state champion after her college took all before them junior college division one system.
A striker, House led the way with 16 goals and 10 assists and can expect interest from senior college teams from across the US this year.
Out of her freshman year, House can now field offers from senior colleges. The University of Wyoming has already shown interest, but House said she will weigh up offers before deciding at the end of the American school year in the northern spring.
Leaving family and friends still hurts, but the excitement of picking up her college football career and reuniting with her teammates is beckoning strong.
“I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go when I was offered the scholarship last year,” she admits.
“I was asking everyone what they thought and they kept on saying go for it. So I did.
“Apart from the 20-hour plane flight I’m really looking forward to heading back. It’s going to be an exciting year and hopefully we can play off for another national title in Florida.
“Our coach buried a ball in the sand after we won the national title and said we can only dig it up if we return to Florida and win again.”
House was offered a scholarship after starring for the NSW All Schools team at the national titles in 2014, from where she won a spot in the School Sports Australia girls’ football team which toured the United Kingdom and Ireland in January.
House’s roommate is from England and the two have become firm friends, travelling together over the spring break last year and planning wider travels at the end of this year.
“It’s been such an incredible experience. I owe football so much for what it has provided me,” House said.
“At times you just catch yourself and think wow, this is happening to me. To have toured England, to have been all over America and to have met so many people and made so many friends is amazing.”
House said she returns to four-weeks of pre-season training before classes resume.
“You study Monday to Thursday pretty much and train Monday to Thursday or Friday and play games on Friday and Saturday,” she said. “Sunday’s our day off.”
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