Sunderland College has welcomed its first ever crop of international students onto its Football Development Centre course.

Andreas Kokoska from Spain, Dimitri Limbo from the Philippines and Mohab Elmarakbi from Egypt are the first international students to join the programme, which combines practical football training with academic study.

The trio have travelled from their home countries to pursue the qualification, which also incorporates participation in regional, national and international competitions as part of the course criteria.

“I chose Sunderland College because it allows me to study and play at the same time,” said nineteen-year-old goalkeeper Andreas. “It is a big change from home but I’ve been welcomed by everyone, although I’m still trying to understand the accent.”

“We’re thrilled to welcome our first international players to the centre,” added John Rushworth, the faculty director for sport and health and wellbeing at the college. “The fact we have students travelling thousands of miles to be part of the elite football development centre illustrates how well-thought of the programme is on a global scale.”

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