Highly-rated Sunderland prospect Duncan Watmore is reaping the rewards of his hard work on and off the pitch.
The 21-year-old forward has enjoyed a memorable start to the season, having scored on his Premier League debut, impressing on England Under-21 duty before securing a first-class honours degree.
An impressive hat-trick.
Hardworking Watmore has combined playing and training with Sunderland, while also studying for his degree in Economics and Business Management over the past three years.
It was all worth it in the end, with a delighted Watmore passing his degree with flying colours.
“It was great news to find out yesterday when I logged on to get my results,” reflected Watmore.
“It’s been a long three years but it’s been worth it and I’ve enjoyed doing it.
It’s a satisfying moment to get these results.”
Watmore was one year into his degree when he joined Sunderland from Altrincham in 2013.
As well as moving to the North East he also transferred his studies to the region.
He added: “I have to say a massive thank you to everybody at the club and Newcastle University because they have all been so comprising with my situation of balancing football and my studies.
“Everybody has been looking out for me, helping with my degree and my football – I’m very grateful to everybody for giving me the opportunity.
“There has been a lot of reading on away trips and a lot of revision during lunchtimes, but it has all been worth it.
“It can be a good escape from football when you’re tired – getting to read about economics.
“It’s been hard work catching up at night because I missed classes in the day during training, but it’s all been really good fun and I’ve definitely enjoyed it.”
A goal and three points against Tottenham Hotspur at the Stadium of Light on Sunday would cap a fine few weeks for Watmore.