Students from De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) had the chance to quiz three Leicester City stars during an exclusive Q&A session.
Nigerian players Wilfred Ndidi and Kelechi Iheanacho and Ghana’s Daniel Amartey took questions from an audience of 60 DMU students at Leicester’s King Power Stadium.
DMU is the official Higher Education Partner of Leicester City, which gives a range of benefits to students, including work experience placements, discounted match tickets and the chance to play at the club’s training ground.
22-year-old midfielder Ndidi, who combines playing Premier League football with a degree in Business and Hospitality Management at DMU, says that he manages to succeed with his studies despite the time pressures.
“It’s not easy but I’m trying my best,” he said. “Mixing football and studying is good for me – after training I spend time reading. Education is very important.”
Both Ndidi and Iheanacho are fairly new to Leicester, with Ndidi arriving in January 2017 and Iheanacho transferring from Manchester City the following summer, but both said that they enjoy living in the city.
Iheanacho said: “Settling in to Leicester was difficult at first but it’s a nice city and a good place. It’s a cool place to be.”
Ndidi added: “It’s a fun place and the people are very friendly. I go to Highcross Shopping Centre and I like go karting and going to the cinema.”
Nigerian DMU students asked the players about a range of topics, including how they would like to help people in their home country, how they find their position as role models and what advice the two Super Eagles internationals have for aspiring Nigerian footballers.
“It’s important to have education as well as football,” Ndidi suggested. “If football doesn’t work out then you can carry on with education. Not everyone has the opportunity to be at the very top, so school is important.”
“Back home, a lot of people come to you for help and look up to you,” Iheanacho added. “They want to do what you do. It’s important that we give the right message to show them what they need to do.
“Not everyone has the means to go to school, if you only have one option then you have to be focused and keep working hard.”
DMU’s sports teams are competing in varsity fixtures this week in the annual competition against the University of Leicester and one student was keen to hear how the two players prepare for important matches.
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Iheanacho explained: “We’re professionals, in the dressing room everyone has their own preparation such as listening to music and stretching. We know from training that we are ready so on game day we just need to focus and listen to the manager.”
Ndidi said: “Some players have rituals like putting their left boot on first. Some are superstitious but I just say my prayers before every game.
“For every game there is pressure but you need to be calm and just play your own game.”
Posted on Thursday 7th March 2019