Ryoma Shimoseki jumped at the opportunity to play football in the U.K. at no cost. It felt too good to be true — so much so that his mother worried he was being scammed.

The 18-year-old was recently announced as the newest addition to the NFL Academy, a renowned sports institute in Loughborough, England, which aims to use football to create life-changing opportunities for teenagers around the globe. Shimoseki is the first-ever participant in the program from Japan.

“I’ve heard about the 6 a.m. alarms and intensive training sessions but I’m ready to go,” Shimoseki told The Japan Times shortly before leaving his home in Chiba last month.