Ahmed Kutucu: A player in-between stadiums and studying

After signing his first professional contract with FC Schalke 04 in February, Ahmed Kutucu was able to live out one of his life dreams. Now he’s on the brink of living out another big dream of his: completing his education. The 19-year-old has already completed his first exam and had “a good feeling” about it. Of course, one of his subjects is, unsurprisingly, sport.

“I’ve already done my sport practical exam and that was why I couldn’t go to Sevilla,” explained Kutucu, who was unavailable for the friendly in Trofeo Antonio Puerta last Friday (22/3). Success wasn’t a foregone conclusion as one might think. “To get 15 points in the sports exam is definitely not just an automatic thing. The exam in athletics was not so easy. Shot-put in particular was quite hard.”

In addition to a 5,000 metre run, a 100 metre sprint, shot-put and long-jump, football is also on the agenda. “For football they assessed defending, attacking and ball control and gave you a mark for it,” said Kutucu.

Parents give Kutucu some necessary calm

Maths is another one of Kutucu’s courses, as well as German and sociology. “Completing my education was always a goal of mine because it’s very important,” said the youngster. “My parents have supported me and given me a lot of peace and quiet at home. They talk with me if I’m having trouble with anything; even if it’s just that I have a lot going on in my head or need help marking a paper. I think that’s really good.”

As well as trying to get good marks in his exams, Kutucu is also doing everything he can to try and help FC Schalke with the difficult situation they find themselves in. The upcoming Bundesliga game on Sunday (31/3) against Hannover 96 is one that he forward feels is very important. “There aren’t that many points between us, so we have to win this game,” said Kutucu. “It will be a tough, very physical match.”

The second win of the Rückrunde should be just around the corner with new coach Huub Stevens at the helm. The coach knows that Kutucu wants to do well. “The training is great – it’s fun and tiring at the same time,” said the 19-year-old. Stevens has found the right mix. “His speeches are great. They’re fun but also slightly serious. So we’re always having fun and being focussed simultaneously.”

Get a win in Hannover with the fans behind us

Kutucu also hopes to see some special support from the fans. “The relationship between the team, club and fans is something I would describe as ‘togetherness’,” said the Gelsenkirchen native. “I’ve known that for a long time. The fans don’t just support the players but also the entire club – even the young players. When I played in the German Championship U19 final, there were fans all over the place supporting us. Our bond is very strong.”

The fans don’t just support the players but the entire club as well – even the young players.

Ahmed Kutucu

One player that was playing with Kutucu last year in the German youth league is Nassim Boujellab, who is currently playing for the U23 team this season and has recently started training with the first team. “Nassim is a good friend of mine and I’m really happy for every young player that is training with the first team,” said Kutucu. “Nassim is a very expressive player, who’s good in a physical battle and can drive at goal.” Speaking about his character, Kutucu explained “he’s a great guy. He’s private and quite calm but we have a good laugh together. He’s a good friend.”

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