Scott Allison: Seven Steps to the States
Scott Allison built a rewarding career and a rock-solid reputation as a coach at Scottish clubs such as Rangers, St Mirren, and Partick Thistle before taking the huge decision to pursue his football dreams in America.
In the third instalment of our exclusive Over the Pond blog series, Scott — now Director of Coaching at Florida Elite Soccer Academy — plots his journey to an American dream job.
By Scott Allison
I recently sat down to enjoy dinner with some college coaches and US national team scouts here in Florida.
We talked about the quality of college facilities, the technology available and the high-performance environments coaches and student-athletes operate in every day at schools across the USA. We reflected on how these colleges generate the revenue to fund programs.
It was clear to me that many of the bigger colleges here in the USA have now better finances, facilities, resources and structures in comparison to many professional clubs. The coaches told me the move to professional soccer is seen by some as a backwards step. Think about that.
It’s something I couldn’t understand when I first came to the USA but I fully understand it now. This was the latest thought-provoking discussion I have had since I decided to take a break from Scottish football to work in a new environment. I accepted an offer to come to Florida in October 2021 and it has been a great experience both personally and professionally.
During my time here I have completed two coaching license courses, travelled extensively, found time to visit a host of professional clubs in Europe, studied different sports here in the USA and extended my professional network around the globe.
I’ve learned a lot on this new journey and I believe these lessons would help teams, clubs and indeed the Scottish football industry grow and develop as the global game moves forward while some environments at home remain stuck in the past.
Many people from my homeland of Scotland look overseas, and to the USA, for a potential next step in their careers. Some think the route to work in the USA is straightforward if you have some experience playing or coaching in the UK. In truth, the current reality is very different.
So how did I end up working in the USA? What advice can I give to those looking into potential employment in a new country? Here are seven of the main steps involved in my own personal journey.