Longtimer Can B. has been at IICS since 2009, just around the time he started seriously becoming interested in football (soccer). In fact, it became his all encompassing passion. He first began by attending football school on weekends when in Grade 6. He eventually started practicing every day after school as well. Can played at Besiktas for some time and then transferred to Galatasary, where he was placed on Galatasaray’s amateur team Simurg when he was still in Grade 8. Simurg is the team Galatasary uses to groom its future players.

Can is Simurg’s goal keeper and he practices every day except Monday (because that is his math tutoring day). Practices run about 2 hours a day after his homework is done and he plays eight matches every weekend. Somehow he still finds time for a social life, but it has to fit in after practice and homework. He is firm on his priorities.

Two summers in a row, Can attended a university camp in the US where NCAA football recruiting scouts look for promising young talent. This summer Can will attend European club camp as well as university camp in the US to try his chances for a football scholarship and a possible pro football career.

“As much as I love football, I also know how much competition there is and I want to make sure I have my bases covered. I want to be a pro footballer, but I will also study law. I love negotiation and public speaking,” Can says.

“Being so committed to my sport isn’t easy. There are many ups and downs. It is hard. You get demoralized. But the ups are really up and being a student athlete is the best thing there is. Being determined takes you places. “

Can’s favorite memory of his football successes to date was playing against the #1 team in the amateur league, Simurg was down 0-1, and Can saved a number of impossible shots, helping his team win 2-1.

Can’s advice to other students: “Start early with your passion. No matter what, you should take it as far as it goes.”

Video clip contains highlights from Can’s performance in the Simurg-THY match last year.