Lithgow soccer star Gerard Roebuck has come a long way since he first laced up the boots for the Lithgow Thistles as a five-year-old.
The 18-year-old goalkeeper has taken another momentous stride in his soccer career, accepting a scholarship to play for St. Mary's University in Texas for the next four years.
Roebuck will be making the big move around the end of July this year.
“I think mum’s the most scared out of everyone but it’s going to be an experience. Moving home at 18 you don’t really know what to expect,” Roebuck said.
“I won’t have my parents or any family members, it’s just me so it’s going to be a bit scary. I’m excited for the whole experience of it really and the whole environment like the training and study. It’s going to be good.”
Roebuck will look to follow in the footsteps of his father Damian, an environmental scientist, by studying a science degree alongside his sporting commitments.
“I want to chase that professional dream but I also want that degree to fall back on,” he said.
“So this is kind of perfect for it. You train five days a week, it’s a professional atmosphere and at the same time you get a degree.”
The Lithgow High School graduate has “heaps” of goals for his time at college.
“Firstly I want to make the starting team in the first year and then make all region honours... and then All American honours… and obviously still pass all my classes and thrive there as well.”
He also has plenty of boxes to tick on his bucket list, not least to see the San Antonio Spurs basketball team play at home.
“I want to travel around have a look at all the sights in Texas, get engrossed in all the culture there and I’m looking forward to seeing what their views on sport are.
“They’re fanatics on football and basketball and all that so hopefully it’s the same for soccer.”
Roebuck was looking forward to developing his game under the expert eye of professional coach Matt Barnes.
“He was part of the whole process of why I chose St Marys really because he’s got another semi-professional team outside of the college and he also has professional contacts in San Antonio.
“So for me that step after college it would be good to have him after college because he can set me up for the future.”
The Lithgow High School graduate currently plays in the NSW Premier League with Sutherland Sharks FC and is set on making a career out of soccer.
“That’s the number one priority, that’s what I’m hoping for.”
Although his star continues to rise, Roebuck knows he could not have done it on his own.
In particular his parents Damian and Ludwina for their countless hours spent driving to training and games.
He also thanked Lithgow locals Ian Burnett and Brian Rosewarne for their guidance on the football field.
Roebuck also appreciated his past sponsors who have helped him on his way including Hunter Mining Methods, Springvale Miners Lodge and Angus Place miners.