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Fairhurst living the American dream
11:50am Saturday 28th July 2012 in Sport
FORMER Nelson star Sam Fairhurst will be playing live on American television tonight after his late goal secured the Orlando City under 23 team’s place in the play-off semi finals, writes Ryan Heywood.
Fairhurst, 22, is based in Florida playing in the USL PDL league, which comprises of some of the best university scholarship players in America as well as ex-professionals.
His team Orlando City, who are part owned by Burnley operational director Brendan Flood, will face Carolina Dynamo and the game will be shown live on Fox Soccer.
His former Nelson coach John Westwell could not be happier at Fairhurst’s success, saying: “I’m delighted for him.
“He really deserves it.”
Westwell came across Fairhurst by chance while he was managing Nelson.
At the time they had an injury crisis in centre midfield and after being introduced to him, offered him the chance to train.
Westwell is not surprised at all by the progress Fairhurst made and still keeps in touch. Westwell said: “Within 20 minutes of watching Sam I could tell he was special.
“I’ve dealt with hundreds of non-league players and he’s in a category of his own.
“He’s a brilliant player, his vision and reading of the game is outstanding. ” Westwell has asked for a copy of tonight’s game to be recorded and sent to him.
Asked whether he believes one day Fairhurst could make it in England, Westwell said: “If he’s given the chance, I still believe he has the talent to make it here.”