Rising teenage Cumbrian footballer Rachel Bell will head to the United States this summer to take up a highly-prestigious football scholarship.

Bell, from Brampton, will join Concord University which is based in Athens, West Virginia. The 18-year-old forward will arrive in August to study and play for the “Mountain Lions” soccer team where she will have the chance to combine her university studies alongside playing high-level football and training full-time for the next four years.

Bell, of Queen Elizabeth Grammar School in Penrith and Newcastle United women, is delighted to have secured a soccer scholarship through the PASS4Soccer Scholarships.

“I chose to study in the USA because I want to experience the high level of training and soccer structure that US universities have to offer and because I have two sisters already at US universities [Katie in Michigan and Isla in Tennessee], who are having a great time," said Bell.

"I’m looking forward mostly to playing lots of football and becoming a better player, alongside gaining a worthwhile degree.

"I chose Concord because of the standard of the team and because I get on well with the head coach [Luke Duffy] there."

Her achievement in gaining such an exciting opportunity is recognition of both her academic achievements to date and her athletic ability.

Bell took part in a USA coach showcase, held by PASS4Soccer, to help further her exposure to universities in the USA, where she was spotted by a coach who had flown to the UK to attend the event.

PASS4Soccer director Daniel Gray added: “We are delighted for Rachel and her family she has secured such a good scholarship.

"Rachel showed great dedication to attend numerous events and showcases to get the exposure to the US coaches.

"Despite having navigated the process before with her sisters, we were delighted the family sought our guidance and we look forward to tracking Rachel’s journey in the USA.

"We have sent numerous players to Concord University and know she will be well looked after by the head coach Luke Duffy."

With students in the UK looking at in excess of £43,000 of debt after graduation, footballers can vastly reduce their university debt by accessing the soccer and academic scholarships available in the United States.

Every year, PASS4Soccer help to assist students find soccer scholarships in the USA, with scholarships of a similar level not being available in the UK.

The students, who are placed in American universities and colleges by the program, have earned more than $40,000,000 worth of education through introductions to scholarship program. Places in the PASS4Soccer Network Program are now available for students looking to enter a US university soccer program in August 2019 and 2020.

PASS4Soccer have Information and Assessment Days in London, Birmingham, Gloucester, Warwick and Durham from July to October. PASS4Soccer are the only recommended soccer scholarship organisation in England.