Ben Oakley has had a few other things on his mind this season.
The teenage Newman Technical College student is sitting his Higher School Certificate, but has still found time to star for Port United in the Coastal Premier League.
“It’s a heaps good break to get away from the books with football,” he said.
“When I have training during the week I know on Tuesday and Thursday I get to have the night off and get away from all the school work.”
It took him a while to get going with a disrupted first half of the season, but a change in his role from coach Nathan Wade has paid dividends in recent weeks.
“Normally I’ve been playing number 10, but been pushed out to the wing because of my pace and ball control up front recently so I havent been used to scoring too many goals,” he said.
“In under-18s I used to score heaps, but in first grade since I moved wide I’ve been scoring more than I would if I was at 10 and assisting more from running down the wing and crossing in.
“I scored one last week and it was good to get the win against Sawtell.”
Oakley is focused on a strong HSC year which he hopes will result in gaining the best marks to progress into a Bachelor of Sports Management and Development.
“I’m taking (school) pretty seriously and want to get good marks and good grades to make myself happier and feel like it’s all worth it,” he said.
The midfielder said United were still well placed to progress to the CPL finals with two matches in hand – although they are against highly-fancied Northern Storm and Boambee.
“They’re two must-win games against two pretty big teams, but if we get them hopefully was can slip up a few points above Boambee and sit comfortably in second.”