‘Education is something I have always taken seriously’ – Henderson on leaving Town for US university
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Promising young Ipswich Town defender Alex Henderson has spoken about his decision to leave the club and go to university in America.
The teenager finished the season on loan in non-league with Bury Town but, before that, made his senior debut at the heart of the Ipswich defence in the EFL Trophy victory away at Peterborough.
The centre-half had been offered an extension to his scholarship, taking him into his third year, but has turned that offer down in favour of moving to Georgia State University in Atlanta.
And the 18-year-old told the Bury Free Press that education was the key to his decision.
“My parents had some friends whose children had gone across to America and had a great time and that planted the seed in my mind that it could be an option,” he said.
“At first it was very much going to be a back-up to getting a deal at Ipswich. But as I got further into finding what it’s all about and what the options were it became something I wanted to pursue.
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“If there had been a professional contract it might have made the decision a bit harder but I don’t think that is to say I would have definitely taken the pro.
“Education is something I have always taken quite seriously and is something I wanted to pursue further.
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“It just so happened that the university option gave me the ability to play football at a good level whilst also getting a good education, so I think that is what sold it to me the most.”
Henderson, who comes from Boxford, near Sudbury, also stressed that he wasn’t giving up on a career in professional football.
He explained: “The soccer side of things has definitely grown over there and the coach I have been talking to has been sending over some games and it is a very similar quality to some academy games.
“If I want to try and get back into being a professional footballer I won’t have missed out on four years of being at Ipswich.”