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