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Max on the ball in Sunshine State

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By Fiona Reid
Lockerbie and Lochmaben
Max on the ball in Sunshine State

ORLANDO — home to sunshine, Walt Disney World, Universal Studios . . . and now a Hightae native.

Max Rogers, who is 26 today, has switched coaching rainy football practices in Scotland for sunny soccer sessions in the USA’s Florida.

For the ex Lockerbie Academy man has netted a job as a pro academy coach at Orlando City Soccer Club. Max, who previously worked as an assistant head of youth development and U20s coach for St Mirren Football Club, made the move stateside last week.

Explaining the switch from Scottish Championship to American soccer, he said: “I started at St Mirren as a volunteer and progressed with the help of some excellent staff and colleagues to become the assistant head of youth development and U20s coach.

“My boss from St Mirren, head of youth development, was appointed as Orlando’s academy director roughly four months ago. So when he moved over he asked if I would move too.”

Max, who had never visited the home of Disney World before, was delighted at the offer and immediately started his ‘painful’ Visa applications.

Speaking about his new role, he added: “My job title is pro academy coach.

“The Development Academy consists of four teams and I will working primarily with the 13s and 18s although the coaching staff will move about and work with all age groups.”

And working in the US is a dream come true for Max, who has a BSc Hons degree in sport and exercise science from Edinburgh Napier University.

He said: “When I was younger it was absolutely a dream to work in America.”

Last month Max journeyed to Orlando for the first time to get to know his new colleagues and the area.

He said: “I’ve been a few times to coach soccer in the summer and loved that, so I’m thrilled that I’m working at an elite level.”

He added: “I’m living just north of Orlando in a place called Lake Mary as it is close to the training ground and Downtown Orlando is a short drive away, so easily accessible.

“The weather is a huge bonus and getting to explore a totally new environment with loads of things to do, although I doubt I’ll have a lot of time off, is great and I suppose I’ll have to try out Disney as well!”

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