NSR Australia & NZ

"Finding the right path is not easy. It’s not easy to breakout of the system and find a way to outperform, to strive for better, to create opportunity. When we’re young it’s the paths we take that often determine the destination.

It may feel like a leap of faith to choose the right path, but if the path is safe and proven then it’s not that much of a leap to give your talent that extra chance."
- Marco Maisano (CEO)

Find out if you qualifyJoin Marco on LinkedIn

Watch NSR CEO and Founder, Marco Maisano, accept the Telstra Business of the year award

Marco Maisano – CEO and Founder

I left school when I was 16 years old with a dream to play my sport professionally. I was a C average student who never really got along with my teachers (PE teachers aside). I knew school was important I just did not apply myself like I should have.

I was one of the lucky ones who signed a professional soccer contract at the age of 16. I was fortunate enough to experience the professional life for a few years, but by the time I was 25, I was broke, uneducated and lost. The only thing I did know, was that I wished I had prepared myself for life after sport.

You see, you only hear about the success stories, the lavish lifestyles of the rich and famous stars you idolize on TV. You don’t hear about the millions of athletes who sacrifice their lives for their sport and then end up with nothing, either because of injury, timing, politics or simply bad luck.

And that’s why I started NSR Australia in 2006.

I wanted to change how young athletes viewed their education. I wanted to give them a pathway to do 2 things once (Education and Sport) whilst ensuring they also learned valuable life skills and created experiences that will stay with them forever.

The American Collegiate system provides all of this for its students. A way to combine everything. A way to create a lifetime of memories, experiences and friendships. An incredible pathway for your sporting or Artistic careers whilst gaining an fantastic education.

Let us enrich your life through your passion for sport or the Arts.

In addition to the US College recruitment process, Marco is available for public speaking opportunities on the following topics:

  • Student athlete Motivation and career planning
  • Leadership development through Sport
  • Goal Setting for young athletes
  • Athlete Mindset and controlling your pathway

Contact Marco directly on LinkedIn for all public speaking engagements

Matt Wade – Director of Prospect Management

My name is Matt Wade and I am the Director of Prospect Management here at NSR Australia.  I have been working with the Organisation since September of 2011.

I am originally from Grapevine, Texas which is located just outside of Dallas, and I am a die-hard Texas Longhorns and Dallas Cowboys fan!  I was a kid that grew up playing a lot of different sports, but my main passions were in soccer, baseball, and golf.  I made the choice at the end of high school to focus solely on taking my soccer to the next level and had opportunities at the college level to do exactly that.

My college career was fantastic!  I played for 3 different programs over a period of 5 years. 

I graduated from Waldorf University in Forest City, Iowa with honours, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Exercise Science and Sports Medicine, or “Wellness” as it is called in some places.  For outstanding and consistent academic performance throughout my time in college I was also awarded with Academic All-American honours.

Graduating from college was one of the highlights in my life to date, and has been one of the major catalysts in my professional success so far.  I was given the opportunity after college to take my soccer career further at a professional level, but a long-term professional career never panned out.  I made the decision to use my education and experience to my advantage, and became the Associate Head Coach of the Iowa Central Community College Men’s Soccer Program.  This is where I was first introduced to NSR Australia as I used to recruit athletes to come and play for my school.

The most impactful thing that has happened in my life has been moving to Australia.  I have had an amazing experience from the day I arrived, and I am proud to say that I am now a Permanent Resident of this great country.  I met my wife Brooke here, and we just recently welcomed our first child into the world, our little man named Hudson Forrest Wade.

I am incredibly proud to hold the position I do with NSR Australia, and I am greatly looking forward to continuing my work to help thousands more students and student athletes chase their dreams in the US College System.

Harrison Burgess – Senior Prospect Manager

My name is Harrison Burgess, I am a Prospect Manager here at NSR Australia & NZ.

I’m a Perth boy, born and raised, and have always loved my sport, particularly football (soccer). Not only am I an NSR employee, I am also a former NSR client and former collegiate athlete. I spent four years in the US (best four years of my life!), in the Mid-West state of Iowa.

My First two years were at an incredible Junior College

My Journey began at a small 2-year college, Iowa Central Community College in Fort Dodge, Iowa, where I studied and played soccer for two years. To this day some of my best friends from all over the world, are my roommates and teammates from Iowa Central.

Having started at a Junior College I needed to transfer if I wanted to complete my degree and continue playing, so after my time at Iowa Central I moved on to Mount Mercy University, in Cedar Rapids. Whilst at Mount Mercy I also ran Track, I had always competed in Little Athletics and inter-school events when I was younger, and I loved being in a team environment so it was a lot of fun. Through both soccer and track, I was lucky enough to travel to some awesome places in the US.

I had an amazing four years in the US college system, now in my role as a Prospect Manager, is to ensure that all NSR prospects get to have the same, if not better, experience than I had.

Here are some highlights from my college days:

Attempting to drive from LA to New York City with my best friend from back home… We made it to Flagstaff, Arizona, before our car broke down. We sold it for $50 and bought bus tickets, and we still made it to NYC!!

Every Thanksgiving spent with one of my closest friends and her family. SO MUCH FOOD!!

Being Hypnotized, by Jim Wand on campus. He made me think I was a runway model then a rodeo champion haha!

Seeing New York City in the summer and the middle of winter! It’s an amazing city, definitely a must see!

Jacob Richards – Operations Manager

My four years in the States was unlike anything I could have imagined. Not once did I think growing up here in Australia, that I would eventually be studying and playing Soccer in the small rural town of Fort Dodge, Iowa.

At the end of year 11 I was given the opportunity to head to the States upon graduation of high school from NSR Australia. Thinking back, I’m still not totally sure why I joined the program initially, I just knew I wanted to give myself the option to go to the States after graduating High School. I didn’t decide 100% I wanted to go to the US, I just knew I wanted the option to choose.

In July 2009 I departed Australia and headed off to Fort Dodge, Iowa.

My plan was to stay and study for a year, have an experience, then come home and continue my studies here. After the first week of training, meeting the guys on the team and living alone with people that would eventually become my brothers, there was no way I was coming back until I absolutely had to.

I studied and played Soccer for two years at Iowa Central Community College. An incredible 2-year Junior College that has won multiple national championships in a number of sports and had been ranked the best Junior College in the country for a number of years. Both years we made it to the conference finals only to be beaten by the number 1 ranked soccer program in the country, Iowa Western. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to play in the national tournament, but I had the chance to play against some of the best players in the country.

The most valuable thing I gained from this pathway…

At Iowa Central I roomed with five other guys on the team, 3 from America and 3 from England. These guys, as well as the others on the Soccer team, I now consider family. The awesome thing about College Soccer programs is that it’s more of an international sport, so we had guys from all over the world. The Soccer was awesome, the education was great, travelling the US was insane but the best thing I took away from the whole experience was my friends and the people I met. No matter where I go in the world now I have free accommodation. WINNING!!

After my two years at Iowa Central I transferred with my closest friends to AIB College (American Institute of Business) in Des Moines, the capital city of Iowa. A school that’s athletic program competes in the NAIA, another division of Collegiate athletics. A smaller school with a smaller student body, but it was located downtown, meaning there is always something going on. It was walking distance from the city centre.

We were unlucky yet again as we were knocked out in the conference finals by the number one ranked team in the country in Grandview university. Our cross town rivals. I remember playing in front of a few thousand people in the “Local Derby”. Unlucky in defeat, but it was incredible to play against the best athletes in the country in that division.

I graduated with honours in 2014 with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and a minor in financial services.

University never appealed to me here in Australia. More time in the classroom, less time to play Soccer and probably more time spent working. I spent way less than I would have here, and I had a billion times the experience.

Over the past three years I have been working with NSR helping other student athletes from Australia and New Zealand reach their full academic and athletic potential in the US collegiate system. I am currently the Operations Manager at NSR but my role is pretty diverse. I also host our weekly podcast on US College recruitment, which if you have not had a listen to I encourage you to do so on Youtube.

My USA Highlights

Some highlights of my time in the US include buying an 8 seater van that lasted three years for $1 (true story), Packing 8 of us into a 7 seater rental van and driving 22 hours straight to spend a week in Panama City Florida for Spring Break with no accommodation booked, Halloween was awesome, traveling to Utah and skiing in the mountains, the team bus trips to away games and even home games, and spending every Christmas, Easter and Thanksgiving with my American family was without a doubt the best.


At NSR we provide a new pathway for student-athletes to further their potential, academically and athletically at a well-established US college. NSR provides the perfect balance by giving your child the best environment to advance their sport, along with achieving a high level in education, that will help create an invaluable platform for their future. NSR aims to unite a passion for sport and education in one perfect setting.

NSR provides an opportunity at all levels, not just elite, because US colleges are very interested in progressively minded international student-athletes. NSR will match the skills and attitude of the student-athlete to the right US college for them, while taking into consideration things like academic and athletic standing and your family’s budget.


For over 10 years, NSR has been providing over 1500 pathways to thousands of US colleges. We have been able to achieve this through our established connections with sporting associations and US colleges and universities with accredited international student programs. Right now, NSR have over 300 students in US colleges studying and playing sport, creating new networks, and opening up opportunities that would not have been available in Australia. With over 85% of NSR placements completing their degrees, we’re helping kids find themselves as they journey into adulthood.