It has been nearly two years since Kristin Desmond donned the blue and gold of Hofstra University. During that time, the East Northport native has played summer ball with SUSA FC and kept her eye on her dream to play professionally.
Desmond has now taken the first step in her professional career having recently signed with Sion Swifts in Northern Ireland.
A 2018 graduate of Hofstra with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology, she is looking to build off a highly successful college playing career that included being named a United Soccer Coaches Third-Team All-American following her senior season.
Recently, she spoke with SleterFC.com about signing with Sion and the experience of playing soccer overseas.
SLETERFC.COM: How did you connect with Sion Swifts?
KRISTIN DESMOND: I connected with Sion through a friend that was asked to play for the team. We went together to help the team.
SFC.COM: What has the experience of going overseas been like for you?
KD: The decision was hard to make but I’m glad I chose to come. The experience here so far is amazing. Everyone has been extremely welcoming and it’s truly like going to another soccer family. Living in another country is always hard the first time around as is adjusting to a new team. But I have been adjusting well so far. It has made me grow as an individual and as a player.
SFC.COM: Are there differences in style of play?
KD: They are more of a possession team and it took me a little while to adjust because I am used to playing more direct and going forward. But once I got used to the team and the way they play I fit right in.
SFC.COM: How long will you be playing with Sion Swifts?
KD: Their season has been going on since April and ends in September. The team had a few injuries along the way and the coaches were really determined to win the Northern Ireland Premier League to make it to Champions League so they called up a few Americans to help them over the line to win the league.
SFC.COM: Since graduating from Hofstra, what steps have you taken to keep yourself in game shape?
KD: Since graduating I have been playing soccer any chance I can. It’s definitely a change from playing soccer six days a week to none so I am constantly looking for leagues to play in. I play in coed, ladies and men’s teams and leagues to keep myself in game shape.
SFC.COM: In a previous discussion, you mentioned your desire to play professionally. What has been the greatest challenge to making this a reality?
KD: Stepping out of my comfort zone with soccer. I knew physically and on the field, in terms of soccer, the challenge would be similar to college — training every day in an intense environment.
However, the opportunity to play came abroad so it meant a lot of changes off the field in terms of being away from home, a different culture, a different playing style, food, money and travel. My greatest challenge is being brave enough to take the opportunity even though it isn’t easy and took a lot of sacrifices just to continue doing something you love.