Former Everton Academy scholar Josh Hosie returned to Finch Farm recently to share the story of his success after the Club helped him to secure a fully-funded scholarship at a top US university.
Everton Academy is committed to maintaining contact with Under-18s and Under-21s players for a minimum of three years if they are released. As part of this process, the Academy Education and Player Care department supports players in finding employment, university courses or securing US scholarships.
The latter was the pathway former defender Hosie chose after he was released by the Club in 2020. He had spent 10 years at the Blues’ Academy and, despite not being offered a professional contract after his time in the Under-18s, he earned a fully-funded four-year scholarship at the highly -respected Furman University in South Carolina worth around £300,000.
There, he plays football for the university while studying for a Bachelor of Arts double degree in economics and business administration.
Hosie’s success highlights Everton Academy’s ethos of not only producing players for the men’s senior team and professional football clubs elsewhere, but also supporting and preparing them for alternative careers.
Hosie is on course to graduate next year and reflecting on the 21-year-old's success, Academy Welfare Officer, Phillip McQuaid, said: “Josh really applied himself well during his time at Everton, whether it was in the classroom or on the pitch at Finch Farm.
“For this, he was rewarded with a fully-funded scholarship at one of the top universities in the US. Now approaching his final year, Josh will come away with a fantastic experience from playing abroad, along with a degree that will support him in his career aspirations of becoming an investment banker.”
Hosie returned to Finch Farm with his fellow Furman University teammates to take part in a special training session with Everton coaching staff. Ahead of the session, he spoke to evertontv to share his experiences of following the university scholarship route.
“In 2020, I’d just finished my scholarship here at Everton,” he explained. “After being released and not getting that professional contract, the educational department was superb. They helped me out and introduced me to Vertex, an agent which helped me connect with the US. With help from the staff at Everton, it all went from there.
“Grades and everything else came into it, but I got a really good deal in the US. I have loved every part of it.”
Hosie was also full of gratitude for the role key members of the Academy, adding: “At the time, I spoke to the likes of Phil McQuaid and Darren Murphy, the heads of the education department and said, ‘Look, I have these grades in high school, I would like to do A-levels to help get me into college'.
“They were superb. They allowed me to take an extra A-level and even offered to do one-to-one mentoring.”
Ollie Shannon, Head of Scholarships at Vertex, and himself an Everton Academy graduate, said: “The scholarships are essentially four more years of football for players. At the same time, you are studying at a world-class university and getting a degree. But they are treated like professional footballers in terms of facilities and travel to games.
“The world-class facilities cater for athletes looking at other sports as well, so you have NFL hopefuls, NBA hopefuls and you Olympian hopefuls all rolled into one. You can benefit from a lot of different sports.
“Players don’t get paid while they do this, but they see a return for their investment in terms of a degree. For example, Josh Hoise’s degree over four years will cost the university around £300,000, which is a big investment in players.
“That’s what we like to do. In our relationship with Everton, we help their players if they want to go down this route. We will assist them in hopefully getting those scholarship offers, going to the US and hopefully having an experience like Josh.”
Despite Hosie not progressing up the football ladder at Everton, the Club's Head of Academy Education and Player Care, Chris Adamson, explained it’s hugely gratifying to see him and other former Academy players enjoying success in the next stage of their development journeys.
“The Club takes just as much satisfaction from seeing boys follow these sorts of pathways, as it does those who continue their football journeys at Everton or elsewhere in the English Football League,” he explained.
“We are big believers in the idea that success comes in many forms; it is not always graduating to the Senior Team or having a football career. Our programme here at Everton aims to develop the whole person, adding value to the boys’ lives and preparing them for a life outside of football.
“The Academy is currently developing an official Alumni programme which, once established, will provide a formal mechanism for us to communicate with former Academy players, whilst creating a network for them to connect with one another.”