Sitting your GCSE mocks and playing football for England might seem like an impossible combination, but one student, Freddie Issaka, is showing us all that it is doable with a lot of hard work and determination.
Freddie joined Truro School in the 1st Year from Archbishop Benson School in Truro. It quickly became apparent that he had a genuine talent for football. With support from his family and Mr Hooper, Freddie has gone on to achieve some amazing success by the age of 15.
A regular on the Plymouth Argyle Under 18 team, Freddie has recently debuted as the youngest ever First Team player for Argyle. He has also been called up to play for both Wales and England, most recently in an international against Turkey, with England winning 3-0.
We have managed to catch up with Freddie to chat with him about how he manages to balance his studies (he is currently sitting his mock GCSEs at Truro School) and his football career.
First of all, congratulations on your recent wins with England against Turkey and Plymouth Argyle against Birmingham City.
- What would you say your biggest achievement has been to date?
- Probably making my professional debut with Plymouth Argyle as their youngest player ever.
- How did it feel when you got the call from the England camp?
- It was very good, it wasn’t too much of a surprise as I was in the standby before, but it did feel very good to get the call. I’ll have to decide between Wales and England when I’m an adult.
- Looking forward, what would be your dream club to play with and why?
- Probably Manchester United as I’ve supported them most of my life.
- Thinking about your time at Truro School, how has it helped to prepare you for such opportunities?
- I think that it’s given me a lot of confidence, in secondary school especially so you’re not as nervous going on the pitch. Mr Hooper and the whole PE department have really helped.
- You seem incredibly grounded despite your success. Obviously, your family play a huge part in this, but how has the School helped you with this as well?
- I think in things like football in school, I get to help out in other ways or try out other skills in new roles like leadership as it’s different playing for the school team than at club level.
- Has there been anyone or anything at Truro School that has shaped your or supported you in your journey?
- I think, again, it would be Mr Hooper who has supported me the most.
- Apart from Sport, what aspect of School life do you most enjoy?
- The social aspect, lunch and break times with friends and I like Biology most, which goes well with sport.
- How challenging has it been to balance your mock exams and study with your football?
- It is a bit challenging but both sides are very supportive, so they understand if I need to take time off on both sides or catch up.
- What are your hopes for the future?
- To play more for the first team at Plymouth. I’m not sure about what I have coming up at the moment for the first team, but I have lots of opportunities in the Under 18s moving forwards. Playing against Chelsea next in the FA Cup will be good for the club and the supporters.
- And finally, what advice would you give to anyone who aspires to follow in your footsteps, either here at Truro School or through the Saints South West pathway?
- I would really say, stay grounded and be dedicated to it, be dedicated to working hard.
Director of Sport, Dan Sanderson, says of Freddie, “Freddie has had a whirlwind few months; making his professional debut and becoming the youngest ever player in Plymouth Argyle’s history, being selected to attend Wales’s and England’s national u16 week-long training camps are the standout highlights. Freddie has still been representing the school team and continues with his studies alongside the many miles of travelling.
“We are really pleased for Freddie and we are all looking forward to watching his matches and seeing his development continue. It is no easy feat to balance as much as he is doing and it is a testament to his increased maturity that Freddie is able to perform on the pitch and at school.”