Orchard Grad Has Big Goals After Being Accepted to the Global Premier Soccer Academy

Sam Gailey ’15 has been accepted to the Global Premier Soccer Academy for the 2019-2020 year!   
Sam will be training and playing soccer with two international teams while in Valencia Spain. He’s excited for the opportunity to experience a new culture with 40 other soccer players from around the world.
Sam played soccer all through middle school at Orchard, a place he credits for shaping his view of the world. “Orchard taught me to embrace other countries and diversity,” Sam said. He received the Helen Bobbs Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Orchard Soccer Program. After Orchard, he continued on to play Varsity Soccer at University High School where he received several awards including All-Conference, Mental Attitude Award, and the Trailblazer Award.
All signs point to the big leagues for Sam, which is a goal he takes seriously. Read more on that and catch up with Sam below!

Congrats on getting accepted to the Global Premier Soccer Academy. You must be thrilled! Can you tell us a little more about what you’ll be doing in Spain?
The Global Premier Soccer Academy is a program based in Valencia, Spain with a contact in Boston. They select players from the United States and other countries. I will be playing soccer for the year at their academy, and playing with a local Spanish team. I will be living in a dorm where there will be a nutritionist, trainer, and lots of coaches all there to help me create a lifestyle for myself around the sport of soccer. I will also be taking a Spanish class and will receive my Class B coaching license!
You’re taking a Gap Year in light of this amazing opportunity, but do you still plan to attend college?
My goal is to be picked up in Spain by a semi-pro or amateur team. There were a few colleges interested in having me play for them—I applied and was accepted to all 8 schools. After spending an overnight with two college soccer programs, I decided to take a year to mature as an individual, improve my communication skills, and just grow a little more. Taking this Gap Year will still allow me to preserve my academic scholarship money. I will go to college eventually, but time will tell what that will look like.
Are you nervous about living in a different country with other soccer players from around the world?
No, I am not nervous about living in another country, especially a Spanish speaking country as I am really comfortable with the language. Orchard taught me to embrace other countries and diversity. When I came to Orchard in 5th grade I wasn’t sure I wanted to join the soccer program…I was nervous about the newness.  But I have always played soccer and I knew I needed to give it a try. Orchard's welcoming sports environment made it easy for me to get comfortable. Ms. Pryor was an awesome coach throughout!
What’s your fondest memory of Orchard? 
At recess, we started playing baseball with a tennis ball and a stick. It started with one other student and me, but by the end of the year, we had two full teams. I realize this is a little thing, but it speaks to how Orchard just let us be kids and develop things from our own interests. There was a lot of camaraderie in our grade.  
I’m sure you watched the US Women’s National team win the Women’s World Cup last week. I know it’s a ways away, but is playing professionally one of your big goals?  
I've wanted to play professional soccer since I was eight. If anyone knows me they know this has been a life-long dream of mine. I play soccer, watch soccer, or play FIFA. When I was younger I would take a soccer ball in the shower to practice [haha]. This experience will give me the chance to discover how possible this dream is. The point of this Gap Year is to take my dream to its end with no regrets. I am so grateful to be given this opportunity and to my parents for understanding my need to fulfill this dream.

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