It’s quite fitting that Ben Kantarovski is studying psychology given his roller coaster experience in the past three years.
It-s quite fitting that Ben Kantarovski is studying psychology given his roller coaster experience in the past three years.
On the back of consecutive knee reconstructions, Kantarovski's young career has faced many challenges.
From the heights of trailing with European Champions, Bayern Munich, and captaining the Young Socceroos to sitting on the sidelines injured for 18 months, the local lad has had his resolve well and truly tested.
As difficult as his professional life has been though, Kantarovski has managed to stay focused and work his way back into the Jets' line-up.
And while his psychology course can't be directly attributed to his ability to rise above the setbacks, the 21-year-old admits a greater understanding of how the mind works certainly helps.
"If you over think things in football, you can tend to find yourself in a bit of trouble," Kantarovski says.
"So I just stick to uni as uni and soccer as a separate thing and I think that has helped me.
"I-ve already had two pretty big injuries, so that has been even more of a realisation that you need something to back you up.
"That's why I'm doing my course and I think working towards that is only going to benefit me in the end."
Kantarovski says the impressive form of the Jets' younger players was a major reason behind his decision to re-sign with the Club for a further two seasons.
The local Broadmeadow junior has no doubts Newcastle has the ability to win another title on the back of their young talent and he wants to a part of it.
"All the young players we-ve got are really starting to kick in now and all the potential is really showing with some good performances," he says.
"The boys' gained all that experience playing last year and coming back in now they are showing the confidence that they-ve got.
"This win streak of games has been tremendous for us and it-s coming out and affecting the way we play each week and it-s only going to get better.
"We-ve always had good sides that have played good footy here and I think it-s a matter of making sure we keep taking that forward.
"Newcastle always looks to do that and step up their game and that-s another reason why I signed."
Kantarovski's rise to the A-League is a testament to Newcastle as a genuine breeding ground for professional footballers.
The midfielder has always dreamt of playing for the Jets, now he is living his lifelong goal in reality.
"I remember going to watch the Newcastle Breakers with dad at the old Birmingham Gardens," he recalls.
"I was ball boy for Newcastle United back in the day, back when Joel Griffiths and those types of guys were here.
"Now I-ve got to play alongside some of them, so that was a bit of a dream.
"It-s pretty surreal, but it's good to be in Newcastle and have your family in the crowd.
"You can relax and have that support behind you."
Kantarovski and Jacob Pepper re-signed on Friday, CLICK HERE for all the details.