TO his American cohorts he was attending university on a soccer scholarship, but in Kilsythian Craig Hughes’ eyes, he was there to study and play football.
Now, having recently graduated with a degree in Business Marketing from Grand View University, Iowa, the 24-year-old is set to use his experience as captain of the Vikings soccer team to boost Kilsyth Rangers’ Super League campaign.
The former Kilsyth Academy pupil, who plays as a centre back, returned home over the summer having won three Regional Championships and reached the final eight in the US National Championships with his side.
Craig explained: “I’ve always been good friends with one of the Kilsyth players, Tony Martin. He had a word with the coaches and they invited me to come down to training.
“After playing in a friendly I had a chat with the manager and he asked me to sign. I’ve really enjoyed the start to my time at Kilsyth Rangers.”
Craig’s American adventure started in 2006 when Glasgow-based company FirstPoint USA offered to promote him to universities across the Atlantic.
“I always had an interest in studying in the States,” he continued. “I didn’t know much about Iowa, and I was definitely a bit apprehensive about moving away from home into a new situation.
“There were a few Scottish guys out there already, one of them was a boy from Cumbernauld, Iain Whiteside.
“I got in touch with Iain and he gave me more information about Grand View. After speaking with him I felt a lot more confident.”
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