MORETON-in-Marsh’s Mark Magee has travelled far afield to live his professional footballing dream.

The Fjolnir striker, 25, has gone from the rolling hills of Cotswold countryside to Reykjavik, Iceland, with the American Midwest in between.

His CV reads like an atlas but the global search for his childhood dream has left him with a steely determination to succeed.

Magee said: “For me, it was about going somewhere new and knowing I had to improve. I have done that over the years, both as a footballer and as a person.”

Bristol City snapped him up as a young teen although he attracted the likes of Manchester United and Aston Villa.

After appearing at under 16s, 18s and reserve level, bad injuries disrupted his progress.

City offered the striker month-to-month terms but Magee opted for a change of scenery.

He said: “I was drawn to the opportunity of doing something different. So I packed up my bags and headed for America, something I will never regret.”

Magee landed at Rockhurst University, Missouri, one of the most successful NCAA teams.

In three years, he had 51 goals and 36 assists, becoming captain and being nominated for three All American awards. But Magee then opted for Iceland with UMF Tindastoll in Division One.

He said: “I had always thought about playing in a different country where I didn’t know the language — to test myself on a professional and personal level.

“I had no idea about the standard of the league there. So I took a leap of faith and was excited to experience a totally different culture and football style.”

After five goals for the strugglers, Premier League club Fjolnir snapped up Magee.

On helping save Fjolnir from relegation, they offered Magee a contract for next season but he isn’t rushing into a decision and would not rule out a move home.

The former Chipping Campden School pupil said: “What’s next is a mystery. I will take a short period of time off to visit friends in America. Playing abroad allows you to see new cultures and variants of football.

“Adapting to different styles and learning as much as is possible on the way is honestly one of the most rewarding experiences I have had as a professional.

“It is a daunting challenge but I would recommend any young footballer who can’t quite get the break they deserve in England to look further afield. I can guarantee it’s worth it.”