Ipswich duo heading off to America

TWO Ipswich-based footballers are about to embark on a dream trip to play in America on a football scholarship, following a successful spell at a local football academy.

TWO Ipswich-based footballers are about to embark on a dream trip to play in America on a football scholarship, following a successful spell at a local football academy.

David Kempson and Lewis Rhodes, who are both 18 years old, recently left Copleston High School, where they were sixth form students and on the SETEC Football Programme and are now heading to Hempstead, New York, where they will be studying at Hofstra University.

This is a culmination of three years' football, which has been littered with success as Kempson, a left back, and goalkeeper Rhodes - brother of former Ipswich striker Jordan - have played together in the same Woodbridge Town teams.

Kempson joined Woodbridge Town as an Under-16 player from Stowmarket in 2006, while Rhodes was already establishing himself as a goalkeeper, following his move from his native Yorkshire.


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Their exploits earned them recognition in the title-winning Woodbridge Town Under 18 team that season, which was managed by SETEC coach, Sean Thacker who, impressed by their qualities, accepted them onto his football scheme based at Copleston High School for the following two seasons.

More success at both club and school levels followed for the two boys, along with recognition within Woodbridge Town senior teams and the Suffolk Under-18 squad.

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However, it was following a Ridgeons Youth League Cup tie involving Woodbridge Town and Cornard United Under-18 teams last December when Kempson and Rhodes were spotted by Hofstra University head coach, Richard Nuttall, that the American dream first materialised as both played starring roles in Woodbridge's victory and were subsequently pursued to make the move to New York.

Kempson, who was the captain of the Copleston School team, which lifted the Under-19 Suffolk Schools' Cup in May, appeared for Woodbridge Town's first team in the Ridgeons League Premier Division during the first half of last season.

He has been keeping himself in shape during pre-season at Coplestonians F,C figuring in the opening SIL Senior Division fixtures.

Rhodes has also been training at Coplestonians, as well as at Woodbridge Town during pre-season and is the latest member of his footballing family to be making a move after his father, Andy, moved from Ipswich Town to Preston in 2008 and elder brother Jordan recently returned to Yorkshire to play for League One Huddersfield.

Both boys will initially be in America until Christmas, when they return for eight months before continuing their scholarship at Hofstra for a further three years.

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