Swaffham Town defender Millward heading to the United States
- Credit: Archant
Young Toby Millward's impressive performances for Swaffham Town have earned him an exciting reward - an opportunity to make a name for himself in the United States.
The 18-year-old defender has been accepted onto a sports degree course at Bellevue University in Nebraska, where he will be playing the game at high standard when he is not studying.
It is a path that has already been trodden with success by former Pedlars youngsters Findlay Bloodworth and Lee Woolmore, while Millward needs to look no further than another West Norfolk product Dom Dywer for evidence of what can be achieved.
Coached by current Swaffham boss Paul Hunt as a youngster, Dwyer has carved out a lucrative career for himself since crossing the Atlantic to study in 2009, emerging from the college system to play in the MLS with Kansas City and Orlando and earning an international call-up for his adopted homeland.
'It's a great opportunity for Toby and everyone at the club is really excited for him,' said Hunt. 'We already have two lads out there who are doing really well for themselves and I'm sure he will be the same.
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'I recommended him to their coach Mark Heath-Preston, who I know from his time in Norfolk, and he has been taken on.
'I'm really pleased for Toby. He's not only a good defender but he's also a really a good, level-headed young lad, with a great family behind him, who really deserves an opportunity like this.
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'He will playing at a good level against senior colleges and now it's up to him show what he can do.
'Dom's success shows what can be achieved - although obviously Toby still has a lot of hard work ahead of him.'
Millward, who has just finished his A level studies at Hunstanton's Smithdon High School, learnt his trade as a member of Swaffham's successful youth squad before progressing to the first team in the Thurlow Nunn League last season.
'Toby was a really asset for us - he played in the first team for most of last season and did an excellent job for the team,' said Hunt.
'We'll be sorry to lose him, that's for sure, but you can't stand in someone's way when they get an opportunity like this.'