South Shields IA forward Daniel Rovira feels “extremely happy” about his new footballing career in England, despite being over 5000 miles away from his hometown in Mexico.
Rovira arrived in Newcastle in late August, to join the newly established International Academy at South Shields Football Club.
The scheme works alongside the University of Sunderland, which allows the students to study, alongside playing football for the club.
Prior to his move to the Mariners, the Mexican played football in the United States at West Liberty University, West Virginia, where he made 55 appearances and added nine goal contributions.
Whilst Rovira is naturally a winger, he has more recently been playing in a central attacking midfield position.
Alongside completing his MBA in sports management at the University of Sunderland, Rovira has scored three goals and a hand in another in only four games.
The Mariners currently sit third in the National Football Youth League U23 North Premier, with two games in hand on current front runners Chesterfield FC U23.
Despite only wearing the South Shields FC crest for three months, Rovira has sung the praises of the International Academy.
“I would say it has exceeded my expectations regarding the level of the team that we have and the excellent coaching.
“I honestly had no idea what to expect when I first arrived in England or even when I met all my teammates for the first time. But now I feel extremely happy and looking forward to what we can achieve together!
“Overall, I would say the squad has settled in well. As always there are some scenarios where having different backgrounds makes us think or act differently, but in the end, having different perspectives is important to move ahead as a team as well.
“I feel like the game has more pace here in England, which I enjoy, compared to Mexico where it is more strategic.
“I feel like I am adapting well. The formation we’ve been playing in, and the plans have fit my playing style therefore making me feel more comfortable on the pitch.”
Moreover, Rovira shared his high aspirations of what he aims to achieve in England.
“Ultimately signing a professional football contract here in England would be the goal.
“Nevertheless, I am patient and focused on now and hopefully these efforts can lead me to that.
“If it is in South Shields, great!
“In the professional side of things also getting a good job in this country would be a dream come true as well.
“Hopefully I can manage to achieve both!”
Ahead of the International Academy’s game against i2i Soccer Academy Red, Rovira added: “I’m looking forward to it and the preparation we have for it throughout the week, but most importantly anxious to get a result away from home and head to the Christmas break tied first in the league would be ideal!”