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“It takes my mind off football” – Bournemouth’s Jack Stacey on juggling football with his degree

Bournemouth defender Jack Stacey reveals how he balances tactics with textbooks – while he is studying for a six-year business and economics degree while playing in the English Championship.

The 24-year-old is currently five years into his degree with The Open University, having registered for the course while on loan at Exeter City, from boyhood club Reading, when home was a wooden cabin at Fingle Glen golf course near Dartmoor – the club would sometimes house new signings there.

“When you are in League Two, you always have to think long term. There was no wifi there so I couldn’t go and watch Netflix or play PS4 so I started looking into other options, and I’d already done my A-levels so it was something that appealed. After training, I enjoy having something to help switch off from football. I work Monday-Friday, an hour to an hour and a half each day, so I get the weekend off. I would advise any player to look into it and see if it’s for them or not,” Jack explained.

He admitted that last season’s suspension of the Premier League allowed him to fly through his studies, but it’s not quite as easy when games are flowing thick and fast.

“There was a point last season where I let it get on top of me a bit. We were playing Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on the Saturday and I had an assignment due on the Monday. We ended up winning 1-0 and a few of the lads were going into London for a meal to celebrate. I had to say no because I had to go home and finish my assignment… there are a few times that has happened.”

However, last season’s suspension of the Premier League allowed him to fly through his studies, “With the spare time I’ve had, it’s allowed me to catch up on my assignments,” he admitted.

His career may be in its relative infancy, but Stacey is considering a postgraduate degree combining sport and business, as well as the prospect of working as an agent or for a club once he hangs up his boots. “I’d love to stay within the industry for as long as possible. For fans, the most important part is watching their team play on a Saturday or a Tuesday but everything behind the scenes is what makes sure clubs can put 11 players on to the pitch. We have had teams like Bury and Macclesfield struggling and there might be a few more with the way everything is going. That economic side of football really interests me.”

Having impressed at Vitality Stadium since signing for just £4million, Stacey is looking a shrewd economic move for Cherries in the current market.

In three years, Stacey went from losing the League Two play-off final with Exeter to the Premier League with Bournemouth. And the Ascot-born star admitted the university course has provided another string to his bow away from football, while his stock in the English football continues to rise.

Author: James Parker