Foreign opportunity on the field

Athlete given chance to grow soccer skills in Scotland


While most seniors prepare for their future in the States, senior Edwin Cook is packing for Scotland. Joining the Spartans Football Club, Cook is looking toward a future full of soccer.

“I’m going to a city named Edinburgh, and so in there we are going to have a small town where I’m going to live, and then a couple miles off is a soccer club I’m going to be playing for. A pro club named FC Spartans under 20 squad,” Cook said.

Cook is using this time to hone his skills, taking a break from school to focus on his experience. He plans to come back after a year, and hopes that the extensive training programs he will be exposed to will allow him more opportunities within the States.

“I figured taking a year off from school would benefit me, just like refreshing my mind, and focusing on something I love. Also, I want to go to Scotland to play soccer for a year, and hopefully getting that experience overseas will allow me to come back and play like a D1 school, so I can come back to college and play soccer still,” Cook said.

Cook believes that the experience will benefit him in his playing, allowing him to advance further than he has had the opportunity to up until now.

“I believe the players there, they’re probably going to be much better than the American players because Europe is more known for soccer, it’s just known to be better players and stuff, so I think it’ll help me build experience,” Cook said.

Cook’s coach, Shiloh Tisdale, has helped him to reach this point in his career, and allowed him this opportunity.

“I’ve gotten to know this coach that’s actually moved over there. He’s over there half the time and I just mentioned to him, it’s so hard for kids to go straight from high school to college, or at least the college that they want to go to now because of internationals and transfer portal, and even junior colleges. I’m just trying to find a good way to almost give these players an opportunity of a year of maturity, and to not lose any eligibility,” Tisdale said.

The Spartans under 20’s club is part of the developmental league, meaning it feeds into the Official Spartans team. The team, part of the Lowland Football League, plays a league below professional level, providing its players the opportunity to progress.

Tisdale has watched as Cook progressed through the years, challenginging himself to continue growing in his skills.

“He’s super committed, and really wants to continue playing. And that’s why I knew he would be a good candidate for it. And I know that with a year of playing with the U20 Spartans FC team, in that regimented training atmosphere, he’s going to really improve. I think it’s just a perfect opportunity for him. I know that his commitment level is high,” Tisdale said.

Cook’s work ethic has enabled him this opportunity, allowing him to to grow both on and off the field.

“I think it’s gonna be a great opportunity for him. He’s done very well academically. So just taking this, this little stint off from academics and focusing on soccer, I think it’s going to propel him in the right direction when he gets back. He’s got that work ethic, and he’s not going to lose that. That urge to be the best he can be on the field and then also in the classroom,” Tisdale said.