Former Institute man Niall Logue has a big 2016 coming up.
The defender has decided to move to Ohio State University next year as he steps up his hopes of turning professional.
Logue, who is home for Christmas and has been training with Stute’s Reserve team, has had a couple of successful years with Yavapai College, being selected for the second year running in the First Team All Americans Soccer Team of the Year.
The 20-year-old admits he would love to follow in the footsteps of one of Ohio State University’s favourite students - Roger Espinoza, who helped Wigan Athletic defeat Manchester City in the FA Cup Final in 2013.
“Just before Christmas committed to Ohio State University,” he said.
“It’s obviously a big thing for me and my school because the last person who committed from Yavapai College to Ohio State was Roger Espinoza and he went on to play for Wigan and won the FA Cup helping them beat Man City, so to follow in his footsteps is definitely a good achievement for me.”
The Waterside man is hoping his good form in the USA continues, but he knows it’s going to get tougher now, in fact he’s likely to play in university matches in front of over 5,000 supporters and he’s already looking forward to that.
“I’m just taking things step by step, my aim when I arrived in America a few years ago was to try and get somewhere big and I got Ohio State and they are in the big ten, so that’s great,” he added.
“Now once I go to Ohio State my aim is to try and go to the MLS.
“I have had interest from a few clubs in the MLS, but I have to prove myself at the top level at Ohio State and hopefully get into the draft and eventually get a contract with an MLS club.
“I have two years at Ohio State and hopefully touch wood after my first year I’ll have done well and hopefully get a contract before the draft, if not then I’ll be aiming to get picked up high up in the draft and get a professional contact.”
It won’t all be football 24/7, the Waterside man is majoring in a Communication and he has to keep his grade’s up or he simple won’t be playing.
“It’s not just football you have to keep your grades up as well, you have to stay above that 2.5 GPA and if you drop below that the coaches call you into the office and tell you that you have to get your grades up or you won’t play,” he said.
“I’m majoring in Communications and I have to admit that the education part is fun and interesting.
“It’s definitely a lot different and going to Ohio is going to be different again because there are around 70,000 or 80,000 people attending there, so it’s going to be a bit surreal but I’m going to try and live it up and enjoy the experience.”
Logue was at Stute’s recent 9-0 mauling of Kilmore Rec in the Irish Cup and he’s also had a few training sessions with Colin Colhoun’s Colts team.
“The Kilmore Rec game was the first time in two years since I was out at Stute and to be fair nothing has really changed,” joked Logue.
“It’s always nice to come back home at Christmas and come to Drumahoe; it reminds me of training there at 16-17 years old and then getting integrated into the first team.
“Stute definitely helped me in the long run, it matured me up and stuff. I remember the likes of Paddy McLaughlin, Walshy (Aaron Walsh) and Decky McKeever really helping me and then I brought that to America, because I was one of the experienced players in our squad, so I tried to use the same type of stuff which those guys did for me when I broke into the first team.”