The top academic and talented footballer has a busy schedule. He’s in the ACG Strathallan boys First XI football team and plays for the Franklin United Football Club. Not only is he the captain of the club’s Under-17 side, but he recently made his debut for their Under-23 men’s team at the age of just 15.
David’s classroom achievements are equally impressive. Last year, as a Year 10 student, he was selected to study three Cambridge IGCSE subjects. Achieving the highest mark in the school across all three papers, he received A* grades in mathematics (with a score of 98%), combined science (97%) and global perspectives (95%). These outstanding results saw him place runner-up for Strathallan’s Top Scholar Award.
Such stellar success both on and off the field requires dedication, commitment, and a great deal of time. But David says he wouldn’t have it any other way.
“Juggling schoolwork with football training can sometimes be challenging, but I’ve learned to be organised and efficient with my time,” says the Year 11 student.
“For me, combining sports commitments with my academics makes for an ideal mix, and I attribute my success to the fact that they complement each other. Football helps my studies by allowing me a sense of release, followed by focus and motivation so I can work harder in class and vice versa.”
An avid footballer since the age of five, David has been selected for the Ricki Herbert Football Academy Auckland Elite summer league for the past two years. In addition, he is a qualified community referee for Drury Football Club. He plays seven days a week, and most mornings, he gets up early before school to watch European football television highlights and cheer on his favourite team, Liverpool.
“I just love everything about football. I especially love to win and enjoy the social aspect of playing football with my friends, particularly my best mate Ethan Foo. He is also at ACG Strathallan and is a brilliant footballer. I think he has a chance to make the All Whites.”
Friendship is just one of the many aspects of school life that David treasures.
“I have a great group of friends, and we love to play sport at break time. The teachers at ACG Strathallan are humorous, they make class fun, and they’re masterful at teaching their subjects – and the facilities are incredible. The school is always clean and tidy, and most importantly, the sports fields always look amazing, and I can’t wait to play on them!”
The year ahead looks to be an exciting one for David, who has set his sights on achieving five A* grades (90% and above) in his Cambridge exams and shining in the Franklin United Under-23 men’s team.
“Hopefully, I’ll get a run for the Franklin United men’s first team before the end of the season.”
With football and academics such a winning combination, it’s not surprising that David already has plans to combine the two in a career.
“I take chemistry, physics, English, Spanish and mathematics, but it’s hard to pick a favourite because I really enjoy the mix of science and languages. I’ve chosen to study Spanish with a football future in mind. I’d love to follow my passion and work in the football world in Europe or South America, whether that be as a manager or sports scientist or in a football-related business. Being fluent in Spanish would be incredibly valuable, as would my English, sciences and mathematics.”