Nelson footballer Amelia Abbott has been signed by the University of Texas. Photo: Jonty Dine (File).

Abbott set to become a Longhorn


Nelson football star Amelia Abbott is taking her talents to Texas.

The 18-year-old has signed for Texas University for the 2020-21 academic school year.

Amelia will become part of the illustrious sporting fraternity known as the “Longhorns”.

“It’s pretty surreal, everything happened so fast from my visit to signing so it is still soaking in at the moment.”

Amelia’s tenure will get underway in late August.

“I loved the vibes of the city Austin in Texas, it is filled with cool people and there is a lot happening there. It is known as the live music capital of the world and I am excited to experience campus life and the crazy university culture.”

She says the biggest challenge to acclimatise will be living away from friends and family.

“However, the coaching staff are a group of awesome strong women and I spent time with the team on campus who were a fabulous group of girls. Hopefully, friends of family can visit me sometime. Anyone is welcome to let me know if they are in the neighbourhood.”

Having already represented New Zealand in age grade, Amelia hopes this will be the next step in her progression towards the top.

“At the moment, I’m taking everything as it comes. If I got the opportunity in the future to be a Football Fern, that would be awesome, otherwise I’m just looking forward to starting my new footballing journey in America and seeing where being a student athlete can take me.”

University of Texas coach Angela Kelly says Amelia is one of those players that is so hungry to play at the highest level.

“She will be training full-time to make the New Zealand U20 World Cup squad and has shown a wonderful ability to play make and dictate tempo at the international level.”

The former Nelson College for Girls student spent 2019 as the only female in first division playing for Nelson Suburbs.

She has represented the New Zealand Under-17 and Under-20 teams, earning six caps during New Zealand’s run to a bronze medal at the 2018 FIFA Under-17 Women’s World Cup in Uruguay.

The midfielder scored one of the goals of the tournament during the 1-1, quarterfinal tie against Japan.

Her coach Ryan Stewart says this is a result of Amelia’s hard work over the last four years,

“Thanks to the work of Jessica Pullar and her company USA connect for getting Amelia so many great offers, I’m looking forward to seeing her playing for Texas this season.”