A TEENAGER is kick-starting his business career on a sports scholarship overseas.

The four-year scheme that Lewis Robinson joins this summer will see him play club football to pay for a university education in the US.

The 18-year-old will split his time between studying business management at Davenport University, in Michigan, and playing for the Davenport Panthers.

Lewis, of Front Street South, Trimdon village, County Durham, said: "I've always enjoyed my football and this seems the best of both worlds.

"I'll get to play lots of football and get good business qualifications to help me go into a career in hotel or leisure management.

"The football will pay for my education. I didn't fancy going through university in England to finish a degree with thousands of pounds of debt hanging over me.

"I've never been to America before so it is a great opportunity to see a bit of the world.

"I ended up with four offers but chose the one in the best -sounding place, not far from Detroit and Chicago."

He learned of the scheme through tutors at Sedgefield Community College - a specialist sports college - and had to impress football scouts and pass an exam to secure a place.

He said: "Football is just taking off in America so there are scholarships awarded to footballers from around the world to go over there and play for clubs to try and generate more interest in the game.

"It should be exciting and hopefully there will be a good buzz about the place. The Panthers have just built a new 1,000-seat stadium."