Coventry born Tegan Suree is to make the biggest move in her career to date after being offered a place at the University of Rio Grande through Firstpoint USA.
The 18-year-old Bedworth United star first became interested in the game at just five-years-old. It was at this age when her grandad would take her to the park for a kick around.
It wasn’t until Tegan was 10-years-old that she joined her first Sunday League team. The main difference being she was the only female in the team, which was “quite daunting” at the time.
Tegan’s love for the game spiralled from there, becoming vice-captain of her primary school team and leaving a lasting impression. Tegan has kept in regular contact with her former headteacher/coach who praised her for “inspiring loads of girls to play football.” As a consequence, the school now has an all-girls football team.
As a young female footballer, playing in male teams was often challenging. “Growing up, my friends started acknowledging that I was not the typical girly girl,” said Tegan.
“I went to a performing arts school in Coventry, where the majority of my friends there loved to perform on stage, but I loved to perform on a football pitch.”
But the difference in their passions made no difference to her friendships with some of her friends often coming to watch her.
The attacking midfielder has wanted to pursue a footballing career for as long as she can remember. Her inspiration comes from both male and female footballers, all for their different attributes. David Beckham for his dedication, James Maddison for his vision and Jordan Nobbs for her battling mentality and goals. Yet, most inspiring to Tegan is Jill Scott, who has to date made 150 caps for England.
The last year has been a whirlwind for many footballers, with the coronavirus’s disruption to the game.
Tegan reflects on last season as “a write off both physically and mentally” after pulling a muscle in her quadricep. This injury saw Tegan out for the majority of the season and her inability to play the game she loves left her “overall feeling very low.”
“I am now physically and mentally better it’s great,” Tegan added. “Coronavirus has been a massive barrier as it’s not allowing anyone who’s not professional to get up to match fitness.”
A new start
Tegan is hoping to leave the troubles of the last year behind her when she jets off to Ohio in August. Tegan described the decision as “a no brainer,” as it allows her to play whilst also gaining a degree.
Moving thousands of miles away is a huge step for anyone, let alone an 18-year-old. Tegan said, “Everyone was crying with excitement” when she broke her exciting news on a Zoom call to her family.
As Tegan takes a huge step in her career, humble as always, she said, “In five years’ time I hope I’m still playing football … I would love to say that I’d be playing for Chelsea or Man City, but I’d just be grateful for any team to give me that opportunity.”
Tegan Suree is sure to be around for years to come, remember the name.