Ben Kantarovski has been juggling football with university studies for most of his career.
This week, the Jets midfielder will graduate with a Bachelor of Psychology to his name which he says was ‘eight or nine’ years in the making.
Kantarovski’s part-time study, coupled with football, was made possible by the University of Newcastle where he’s studied all these years.
The only time during his professional footballing career where university wasn’t a major part of things was when he first started during high school.
“I was fortunate enough that when I first started playing football, my original contract [stated] I had to finish school,” Kantarovski said.
“Part of the contract was that if I didn’t finish school, that I’d be terminated, so credit to the club. They saw that as a positive thing for a footballer, and they really helped myself and all that other young guys that came through.
“Now with the FFA and the PFA, they make sure that young ones have that opportunity if they want to and at the end of the day, it was all I’ve known.”
He’s not the only Jet who’ll graduate this week – Tara Andrews of the Club’s Westfield W-League side will also don the square cap.
She’s juggled her studies in a Bachelor of Civil Engineering with her role as a key Jets attacker in the women’s game, and will on Friday graduate with Honours.
Andrews has also landed a graduate engineer position with the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) – and her talent to be flexible with her time will be on further display.
“I’m grateful the University accommodated my Jets commitments, and with their help I was able to reschedule exams or request extensions on assignments when the study load clashed with games or training,” Andrews told the university’s website.
“I had a lot of doubts during the degree and often wondered if I was smart enough to complete it… I contemplated changing degrees on multiple occasions.
“I always got through it by putting in the hard yards though, and looking back I probably put too much pressure on myself at times.
“I remember the joy when I received my first high distinction in my second last year of study – it made me realise I was good enough to do this degree.”