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Simon nets place on national squad

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Published on 17 March 2023

Simon Jakab at the University of Sunderland
Simon Jakab at the University of Sunderland

Rising football star and University of Sunderland student Simon Jakab has been called up for the English Universities Sport (EUS) national team.

EUS is the official association in England which administrates and sanctions all representative student sport and competition across the country’s higher education.

Simon joins EUS as a centre back and will make his debut when they play Yale University at Macclesfield Stadium today (Friday 17 March) with kick-off at 2pm. 

On being selected for the national squad, the 22-year-old Team Sunderland Elite Athlete said: It makes me feel extremely proud and it is without a doubt the greatest achievement of my footballing career so far.

“I’ll just do my best on the pitch and hopefully make my University proud. I am carrying a bit of a knock on my ankle for the past few weeks, but when you are on the pitch, the adrenalin just takes over.”

Originally from Hungary, Simon moved to Sunderland in 2017 and has lived in the city ever since. When he enrolled at the University in 2019, Simon played for Consett AFC and joined them down in Wembley for the FA Vase Final in 2021.

He currently plays for North Shields FC and the University’s Team Sunderland.

“The support I have received from Team Sunderland has been immense,” Simon said.

“They supported me throughout my trials and even booked my accommodation. A lot of support also came from being on the Elite Athlete Scheme. This included physiotherapy earlier in the season when I got injured and personal training sessions. All these things play an important role in how I came to be where I am today.”

Simon, who graduated with a First Class Honours in BSc Sports and Exercise Sciences last year, is continuing his studies at the University with an MSc Psychology (Conversion) course with a pathway to sports psychology.

Laura Hockaday, Sport Development Officer for Team Sunderland, said: “Simon being selected for English Universities is such a proud moment for us at Team Sunderland. 

“Simon has been part of our Elite Athlete Scheme for the past three years and has played a massive part in our men’s football programme securing two back-to-back league titles as well as winning the Northern Conference Cup with our Men’s 1st Team. 

“Over the years we have seen him grow as a player and person, and his commitment to football has been outstanding, he deserves all the success in world. He is a credit to himself, Team Sunderland and the wider University.”

Head Coach of Team Sunderland’s Men’s 1st Team, James Clark, added: “Since first arriving at the University of Sunderland Simon was without doubt a special talent. He has always had the determination and fantastic attitude to take him forward in his football career – that, coupled with his undeniable talent, has always led me to believe that these kinds of honours were only a matter of time. 

“Simon has an infectious attitude and will to win and is brilliant to work with both on and off the field – a true leader to other members within the whole of men’s football and a fantastic ambassador for the University.”