John O'Donoghue has recently debuted for the Oxford City Football Club First Team. A City of Oxford College Sport (Football) Level 3 National Extended Diploma student, he’s certainly proud of how far he’s come during his programme.
John successfully combines his study programme alongside additional training and weekend matches. He spends most of his week at Oxford City Football Club, with two days dedicated to academic study at college.
John joined City of Oxford College in September 2017, and said he was interested in the football programme because: “it was mainly a full-time football course and that is what I was interested in doing, as I’ve played football all my life. I wanted to carry on after school so doing it full time in good facilities like this appealed to me.”
The programme, run from City of Oxford Football Club, offers students full use of the facilities onsite. John said: “The facilities are probably the best around, to be fair. They've got two 3G pitches, so you can train, and it's never called off due to weather. You can always train. There are good changing rooms, clubhouse facilities, a stadium that you can play in, so it's good to come here.”
When asked about what he has enjoyed about the programme, John said: I've just enjoyed playing football every day basically, it’s better than going to college every day or doing something you don't enjoy doing. It doesn't seem like less work, but you are doing something fun, so it doesn't seem hard when you have to do it. “I see myself as part of the City of Oxford College football programme. For me, I train every day and then go to college twice a week. So, on the Monday you train in the afternoon after college. Tuesday, you're in here all day and train twice. Wednesday, there's normally a game, normally under 19s level. Then Thursday you're at college and Friday is another day of training. You train and study every week.”
John commends his tutors and the community spirit of his peers on the programme. He said: “There’s a real community spirit here, there's different ability levels, so you don’t have to be the best to play. Even the best players in the higher ability teams mix with people in the lower team, so you have a good spirit with everyone that goes here. We all go to the same college, so you're in mixed classes so people with different abilities will mix generally, so that's pretty good.”
After the programme, John hopes to continue to play for the First Team next season. If not, he will attend university and study Sports and Exercise Science.