“A Dream Come True”, those were the words the Edwards sisters and twins Brianna and Siobhan proudly announced after the 18-yer-olds arrived safe and sound in the U.S. ready to embark on their four-year scholarship with the University of Louisiana (ULM).
The twins embarked on their journey from Sydney to the U.S. arriving in Los Angeles on Monday to take in the sights and sounds of the cool city before commencing college duties in Louisiana on the 2nd of August.
“My sister (Siobhan) and I have been looking forward to playing college football since we were 15,” Brianna stated to Football NSW.
“It was always a dream of ours to move to the States and play. We started our recruitment with Australian Football Scouts and then with Wagner and Woolf who helped us get a full 4-year scholarship to ULM.
“I am so excited to be travelling across the world and chasing my football dreams with my sister. It has made the transition a lot easier knowing that we have each other. We are so excited to get to ULM and work hard.
“We are currently spending 3 weeks in Los Angeles with a friend, training and travelling, then we are starting college in Louisiana on the 2nd of August.
“Travelling to the U.S was different to usual. We had to get exemptions, vaccinations and COVID tests before getting on the plane. However, the flight was good and once we arrived, there are very limited restrictions for vaccinated people.”
Both talented female football stars coming through the NSW development system playing for respective NPL NSW Women’s clubs before catching the attention of U.S. college suitors.
Siobhan was part of the Northern Tigers FC setup while Brianna was playing with the Football NSW Institute as well as the Northern Tigers before jet-setting to America.
“I played at the Institute for one year during the 2020 NPL NSW Women’s season,” said Brianna.
“I played every first-grade game throughout that season which I think was really good for developing my game.
“The Institute gave me the opportunity to step up to a higher level and play against players who are older and more experienced.”
Brianna’s performances under the sticks also led her to winning selection into NSW’s inaugural Women’s State team side that took part in the ‘State of Origin’ clash against Queensland late last year.
“It was definitely an experience I will never forget.
“Unfortunately we went down on penalties after the match ended 2-2 but the Camp and match were amazing moments, training, playing and travelling with some of the best players in the NPL is something I’ll never forget.”
University of Louisiana scholarships are hot property, worth $80,000 a year which will cover tuition and living expenses, Brianna couldn’t wait to continue her football journey with her new side along with her sister.
“ULM is in the sunbelt conference in NCAA Division 1. The school is known for their football team being in one of the most competitive conferences. The women’s football program is currently being improved and reworked by the new coaches which is really exciting.
“The University campus is beautiful, right on the bayou. There are newly built apartments for the athletes and the football facilities are some of the best in the country.”
Kick starting her footballing career along with her sister in the Eastern Suburbs Football Association with Pagewood Botany as an 8-year-old before playing for the likes of UNSW, Sydney University, NWS Koalas, and the Northern Tigers, Brianna has set her sights on hoping to represent the Matildas one day.
“That be a dream for sure.
“I was involved with the Junior Matildas as well as the Future Matildas program whilst I attended my first Young Matildas camp in June this year which unbelievable.”
Keeping it real: Brianna Edwards in action for the NSW State Team in 2020 when they faced Queensland in the ‘State of Origin’.