Play­ers head­ing to US

Auckland City Harbour News - - News - By Lisa Har­ri­son

For most stu­dents, go­ing to uni­ver­sity is an ex­pen­sive busi­ness.

But Jonathan Raj and Adam Cowen won’t have to worry about pay­ing bills.

The Mt Al­bert Gram­mar School foot­ballers have won schol­ar­ships worth more than $300,000 each to study at Fairfi Uni­ver­sity in Con­necti­cut.

The boys will play foot­ball for the uni­ver­sity while study­ing over four years.

Adam, 18, says he is ex­cited about the op­por­tu­nity.

“I have been looking for this op­tion so to have ac­tu­ally got it is great,” he says.

“We get to play foot­ball and come out with a de­gree, which is awe­some,” Adam says.

Jonathan and Adam have been play­ing foot­ball for Mt Al­bert Gram­mar since they started at the school and are mem­bers of the first 11.

They both train be­fore and af­ter school most days and have been prom­i­nent play­ers for the team this sea­son.

Fair­field Uni­ver­sity is one of the top 25 uni­ver­si­ties in the United States and the boys will re­ceive US$38,000 a year over the four years.

Jonathan, 19, says it will be dif­fi­cult to be away from home.

“But I’m looking for­ward to ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a new cul­ture and I’m stoked we got this op­por­tu­nity,” he says.

Coach Kevin Fal­lon says the boys de­serve their schol­ar­ships.

“They were foot­ballers from the day they came into the school,” he says.

“It’s nice to see them get­ting some­thing out of it as they are very com­mit­ted and play well.”

Mr Fal­lon says the boys are for­tu­nate to have the op­por­tu­nity to play soc­cer over­seas as it is a dif­fi­cult game to get into.

“To make it into pro foot­ball, you’ve got to be lucky,” Mr Fal­lon says.

“It’s not all a bunch of roses, it’s a hard life and so it’s im­por­tant to have some­thing to fall back on, which the boys will get in their stud­ies.”

The uni­ver­sity se­mes­ter does not start un­til Au­gust next year but the boys plan to head over in May to play in the sum­mer soc­cer league.

Photo: JA­SON OX­EN­HAM

Bal­anced act: Mt Al­bert Gram­mar school stu­dents Jonathan Raj, left, and Adam Cowen have full schol­ar­ships to at­tend Fair­field Uni­ver­sity in Con­necti­cut next year.

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