NYC Newcastle Knight Jake McNamara has been a stand out in the classroom since he embarked on his first year of a Certificate III in Surveying at Hunter TAFE.
The young talent, who hails from the North Coast, has begun the qualification with the goal of laying the platform for a career in surveying.
While McNamara has excelled on the football field, he’s also impressed in his studies receiving the Newcastle Knights Hunter TAFE Student of the Month for May.
Ewan Smart, head teacher of civil engineering and surveying commended McNamara’s application to his studies and recognised the young Knight as a valuable contributor in his class.
“Jake is a great student. To coin the old phrase, he’s a pleasure to teach,” Smart said.
“He’s keen on asking questions and is always there.
“He shows a fair bit of talent and enthusiasm for what he’s doing. You always want that in a student.”
There are plenty of advantages of the Newcastle Knights Hunter TAFE partnership for the Club’s students, but for McNamara one of the most significant is convenience.
His study block is less than 100 metres from NYC Knights’ training field at the Tighes Hill Campus.
“To have the field next to me it’s really good, especially with times when they border right on training when TAFE finishes,” he said.
“Sometimes with footy I have to leave a little bit early, but the teachers help me out with what I’ve missed. It’s amazing the support they’ve given."
The Port City Breakers Junior is enjoying his studies and is mapping out a clear path to work in the civil engineering industry.
“It’s mainly practical which suits me and at the moment. I’m just learning the ropes of what it takes to be a surveyor,” he said.
“I’m looking to work my way into employment in surveying the first would be as an assistant surveyor.
The 18-year-old played much of his junior football in the Hastings before he made the move to Newcastle to be a part of the Knights' junior development system.
“I made my way through the Knights’ system when I was 13 or 14 years old for the Knights Chargers and have made my way up the grades while playing footy in Port Macquarie," McNamara said.
While he aspires to take his football as far as he can, he has a realistic approach to his future career.
“Rugby league can’t last forever, whether it’s an injury that puts you out or you have a good career lasting a few years, you still need something to fall back on," he concluded.