Words: ACFC Media
Wednesday 5 February 2020
AUCKLAND, New Zealand - Auckland City FC and Striv3 have joined forces to help make a generation of Kiwi footballers' dreams of making it as professionals a reality.
Striv3 is an Elite Sports Management consultancy run by directors, Thomas Spragg and Stuart McEwen. Spragg is a former New Zealand age-group international and had a playing career with Auckland City FC, while McEwen played basketball in Australia and the US College system.
Former All Whites striker, Bright, who coached Auckland City FC to a record third consecutive National Youth League title in a row, was delighted to see a relationship formed with Striv3.
"This is the start of something new at Auckland City FC we've been very successful at the top and now we are trying to be successful at younger age groups.
"If we can help younger players to use their football ability to go to different countries and experience different cultures, then that's fantastic for us.
"Its good because now we're creating a different pathway for our players through the youth system.
"Before, we were trying to push our National Youth League players from there into our first team, but now we've got a different link through Thomas and Striv3, where these boys can hopefully push off into a different avenue into America and also work on their studies, pursue a football career and have a degree at the end of it," Bright told www.aucklandcityfc.com.
With Spragg and McEwen's experience of elite level sport as athletes, combined with the know-how of their Director of Academics, Kainee Aguilar, Bright says Striv3 has an established track record of success.
"Striv3 has been successful already. Tom and Stuart have been very successful in America with basketball and football. Boyd Curry, a New Zealand age-group international, has gone over there and currently one of our best youth players over the past couple of seasons, Thomas Drillien, has now linked up with Striv3.
"Hopefully, players like Thomas (Drillien) and other youth players can link up with Striv3, who have a proven track record of getting players into US Colleges," Bright added.
Spragg, who was also part of the All Whites backroom team during the 2018 FIFA World Cup campaign, explained what Sriv3 does.
"Striv3 is an elite sports management company that helps young New Zealand athletes get to the US on scholarship in their chosen sport. We're proud to be able to say that Striv3 has helped save Kiwi families nearly $2.7 million in scholarship funds.
"At Striv3 we get to know our players and their family on a personal level and we create individualised programmes of support thats best suited to them," Spragg said.
Striv3's experience and understanding of the US College system, and their first hand knowledge of it, means they are there as a spring board to future success for the ambitious athlete-student.
"The US College system gives players an obtainable goal after their journey ends with Auckland City FC. It allows them to progress further not only as players but as people as well.
"The people at Striv3 - we've all gone through it ourselves. We have all got different experiences of the US College system and that's an advantage when advising players of what their options are.
"The US College system enables players to get the best of both worlds and complete a degree, which helps you long term, but you also play football at a very, very high level.
"The resources and facilities are just as good if not better than some professional football clubs in Europe. A lot of New Zealanders do very well in the US because they reach out and use these resources which helps their development.
"College programmes provide a lot of support from free tutoring, to sport psychologists, to nutritionists, and trainers, eveyrthing there is catered for the student athlete to have success," he said.
Spragg freely admits the transition from life in New Zealand to life chasing a sporting and academic dream is not without it's obstacles but thats where Striv3 come into the picture.
"There are challenges - Kiwis are away from home which takes a bit of a transition, but to be there with a team member from Striv3, we are there to help support that transition from first hand experience.
"We also help with the transfer process - we've been through it ourselves - it's something we know and understand and can help get students through that process," he said.
If you want to find out more about Striv3, you can contact them at the details below:
Thomas Spragg - Striv3
Kris Bright - Auckland City FC
v Wellington Olympic, 11 March 2023, KO: TBC