Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

KNIGHTS TALENTS TO BUILD CAREERS IN US; Top International Opportunities for Exciting Teenage Footballers

Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

KNIGHTS TALENTS TO BUILD CAREERS IN US; Top International Opportunities for Exciting Teenage Footballers

Article excerpt

Byline: David Lems david.lems@qt.com.au

WHEN Ipswich Knights footballer Robbie Baker tackles the biggest challenge of his sporting career, he will be well prepared.

Two seasons with the progressive Knights after a stint in the Manchester City Academy as a junior have the centre back/midfielder primed for what awaits him.

That is one of the most exciting opportunities a talented 18-year-old footballer can embrace.

Baker was yesterday on his way to the United States to study international business and play football at the Saginaw Valley State University (SVSU) in Michigan.

"It's brilliant. I can't wait,'' Baker said.

Having just completed his commitments with the Knights Queensland Premier League senior team, Baker was appreciative of the Ipswich support he'd received.

"I've learnt a lot playing at the Knights,'' the teenager said, having risen to the QPL from previous under-20 ranks at clubs like Brisbane City.

"I really got on well with all my teammates. Andy (Ogden) is a great coach.

"I've really enjoyed my time there. The competition is good . . . the physicality is greater than under-20 competition or the junior leagues.

"I'm really looking forward to how I go in America.''

Baker secured the trip through the Study and Play USA agency and some coaches, after graduating from St Peters Lutheran College at Indooroopilly last year.

He presented a video package of highlights from Knights and school games to support his bid to study a four-year degree in the States.

"The American college option appealed to me because it allows you to continue playing football at a high level while gaining a world class education,'' Baker said.

"I love travelling and if I can study international business, I can get a role at a big multinational company and see how we go from there.''

Based in chilly Michigan south of the Canadian border, he hopes to travel with the football team gaining valuable experience for a college which has qualified regularly for the NCAA Division 2 national championship. …

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