Richmond's Nuredini is breaking the mould
Richmond footballer Gani Nuredini is not your typical England football captain.
The 17-year-old former QPR youngster, skipper of the Independent Schools FA U18s England team, is currently enjoying a scholarship at posh Sussex school Ardingly College.
Nuredini, who led his country in a recent defeat to Australia Schools, is keen to study medicine if his football career does not work out.
And, despite having had trials at League Two Crawley Town, he insisted that remained the priority even if it may hold back his footballing ambitions.
“It’s really hard to combine the training with studies, which can sometimes get a little stressful and exams have to come first,” said the centre back.
“Most people are shocked when I tell them I want to study medicine.
“Academic players are not sought after so much.
“But if the chance comes, I want to establish myself first, and then push on to the higher leagues.”
Nuredini, whose parents moved to the UK from Albania, has been playing football for as long as he can remember and admires Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard most.
ISFA U18s, who have internationals with Wales and Scotland on the horizon, lost to Australia 3-2 last month.
But the teenager admitted leading his country remained an experience he could get used to.
“It was the proudest moment of my life,” he added.
“We got led out by the referee, sang the national anthem, the whole works. There were a couple of butterflies and nerves definitely played a part.”
The ISFA U18s play the Royal Navy later this month.