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19-year-old Jake McNamara capped off a big couple of weeks by snaring the Newcastle Knights Hunter TAFE Student of the Year Award on Wednesday.

For the last two years he has been busy studying at the Tighes Hill campus, and will graduate from his Diploma in Surveying in three weeks.

“It was a big surprise getting the award,” McNamara told Knights TV after being presented with the accolade at the Club’s study hub.

“I’ve been battling away for the last couple of years trying to get my studies all done.

“I did my Cert III and IV last year, and my Diploma this year.”

Having nearly finished his time at TAFE now, McNamara says he can have peace of mind knowing he has balanced playing football with study.

“You don’t know what’s going to happen in footy with injuries and you don’t know who’s going to be better than you,” he explained.

“So obviously it’s good to have that balance and have something for the future that I can lean on.”