Having swapped his home town of Rochdale for the land of rockets and rodeos, Earl Barrett is living the American dream but the former Everton defender is putting in some serious hard graft to do so.
All those who think people in football have too much time on their hands should take a look at the 52-year-old's gruelling schedule, which typically sees him out of the house for over 16 hours a day to ensure that Houston does not have a problem when it comes to youth football.
Barrett told the ECHO: “I was working for the Academy at Stoke City for about seven years, working with 12-to-21-year-olds and while it was great and I had a good time there I looked at what the future held for me there and I couldn't see where I was going.
“I'd long held thoughts of coming to America and we rekindled that. About a year before we came here, my wife and I visited friends in California and then I came back again on my own to do more research by myself.
“Within about a month of that a deal was hatched and here I am.”
He added: “I work for Rise Soccer Club. It was originally Houston Express and it's the same club but we've gone through a couple of mergers to become a bigger entity.
“I'm the assistant DA (Development Academy) director. DA, is the highest level of football here at youth level. The US Soccer Federation give funding to grant permission for clubs to run teams on their behalf with the ultimate goal of creating players for the national team.
“It means you get a higher standard of players and the mergers have given us a deeper pool to pick from.
“I look after the U17s and U19s age group as well as during the week, working on how the club is run so it's quite a big, all-encompassing role that is full-on.”
Barrett's eldest daughter has just returned to the UK to go to university in Manchester but he and wife Keely still have their other two teenage girls aged 15 and 14 with them and that means an early start for what are long working days for him.
He said: “I get up at 6:30am to take the kids to school and then I'll be doing administration during the day.
“I then drive to training, which takes me between an hour to an hour-and-a-quarter, because if I leave it any later it's a nightmare getting through Houston, and then will typically find myself a coffee shop to sit when I get there and do some more work before getting to the training ground at around 5:30pm with sessions starting an hour later.
“I'll take two training sessions back-to-back, 6:30-8pm and 8-9:30pm, so I'm usually not getting home until 10:45-11pm, and after one last check of my e-mails I'll try and chill out for half an hour or so.
“That routine is Monday to Thursday and with Fridays off we have fixtures on Saturdays and Sundays.
“I've just planned a trip to Indianapolis and Chicago and that's about the furthest we'll travel for games with a three-hour flight but it's usually a car journey but then Texas is so big, we recently played in Dallas and that was a four-hour drive.”
After starting his playing career at Manchester City, Barrett established himself at Oldham Athletic, guiding them to promotion to the top flight for the first time in 68 years in 1991, winning the first of his three England caps that summer.
He helped his next club Aston Villa to beat Manchester United in the 1994 League Cup final but was forced to miss out against Alex Ferguson's side at Wembley the following year when he reunited with his former boss from Boundary Park, Joe Royle, but was cup-tied.
Barrett admits that the young American players he works alongside often ask him about his time as a Premier League footballer but he tries to explain to him that things were somewhat different a generation ago.
He said: “The Premier League is a massive source of intrigue to them and they're very interested in it.
“But if I say to them that I played in the Premier League they think about the Premier League now, they have no idea about what it was like in flipping 1994 or 1995 and I have to tell them 'look, it wasn't like that back then!”
One thing Barrett, who played 82 games for Everton between 1995-98, including the 1-0 victory over Blackburn Rovers in the Charity Shield, recalls with great fondness from his time at Goodison Park was the camaraderie.
He said: “The special element about the Everton team I played in under Joe Royle was our ability to be together.
“That included in a physical sense, being out and about together off the field, but emotionally too, there was such a strong bond.
“People talk about there being players from around the world in the Premier League now with different outlooks but we had that then and everyone was always involved.
“At times we were shocking, in that we couldn't get results, but even then I used to think 'we'll be fine' because we were together as we just kept playing for each other.
“It never became a panic situation because we had each other's back. I've been at some really good clubs, and fortunately there were never any cliques but I've never been at a club where the players have been so together like they were at Everton.
“I can't explain it because we were kind of successful but not, doing well and then not doing well, but it was an amazing atmosphere in the dressing room.
“When we had to dig deep we did so as a team and got ourselves out of those situations.”
Barrett still keeps a close eye on all of his former clubs' fortunes and he hopes that Blues chiefs are sufficiently patient to enable Marco Silva to revive their fortunes.
He said: “Last year it a little bit up an down for Everton and obviously they're struggled so far this season. I must say that I like the manager and I think he'll eventually get things going. I'd say he needs time but I don't know how much time people will give him.
“When I look at them, I think they're a decent squad of players. I'm not sure about the depth but the first 12 to 14 players look strong and like they could do something but they need to make things click.
“I'm a fan of Richarlison. He seems like someone who plays on the edge at times.
“He's not like Wayne Rooney, but he often looks like he's only a second away from a yellow card although that kind of mentality does give some players something extra.”
One of the biggest changes in elite football since Barrett's own playing days has been an increased expectation on full-backs to operate in the opposition half of the pitch.
His current successor in the right-back berth at Everton, Seamus Coleman has revolutionised the position at the Blues but Barrett maintains that such developments should not be made at the expense of abandoning defensive duties.
He said: “Full-backs these days are being asked more and more to get forward and create opportunities like wide players as well as being defenders.
“With that there still needs to be a moment of thought about defensive responsibilities as I believe that's really important as well.
“It's fantastic if they can also attack and that's a massive bonus but for me a defender's first responsibility is to defend and that will never change.
“Being given that licence to get forward helps players to develop technically and that would have helped me as I'd have to had worked harder on crossing the ball and receiving a pass.
“I will say that Seamus Coleman though started as a wide player so that ability to cross a ball and attack was probably there from the start whereas he's grown into the role of being a full-back at senior level which he does very well.”
He's clearly a busy man but how does life in the Lone Star State compare to Barrett's native Lancashire?
He said: “Texas is a nice place to live, obviously it's really, really big, an enormous place and Houston itself is the fourth-largest city in the USA.
“It's a happening state and people want to be here. The biggest things here are oil and gas so there's a lot of industry and things going on here.
“Most of the time it's sunny but it can also rain very heavily. It can be like a change of seasons within moments.
“At times, it can rain for 30 minutes and it's a show-stopper meaning training is off for the next couple of days.
“A couple of years ago we also had Hurricane Harvey which was like nothing I've ever experienced in my life. It was quite scary. Where we live wasn't flooded but our community had a mandatory evacuation order.
“When you live through it you think 'wow, I can't believe that just happened.' It's crazy but we've got through it and we're battling on.
“The move here has enabled me to get into the management side of football with leadership opportunities and maybe that's where I needed to be when I was in the UK as I'd been coaching for a number of years.”