JASON ABBOTT is a man on a mission both on and off the pitch.
The 23-year-old Cobh Wanderers midfielder clearly has a wise head on his young shoulders as he combines and uses his footballing ability to further his education and get the dream job he has wanted for years and that is to be a PE teacher.
Knowing education comes first the Cobh man has over the years always done the right thing in terms of education first not football and is very happy where that belief has taken him.
Now plying his trade with Wanderers in the MSL he still wants to be the best footballer he can be.
He still wants to win trophies and push himself but knows this can only be done in tandem with securing the teaching job he wants.
"Signing for Wanderers this year meant that I could commit and enjoy football at this level while also concentrating on my work commitments," said Abbott.
Abbott came through the underage system at Cobh Ramblers and was part of the club's 2011 A Championship squad.
He left later that year to go to the US where he joined the soccer programme at Boston College.
In 2012 he joined up with Cork City's U19 squad where he was part of the side that won the league and Cup double.
In 2013/14 Abbott turned out for UCC in the Munster Senior league and was part of the team that reached the second round of the 2014 FAI Cup.
He returned to the League of Ireland in June 2015 when he rejoined Cobh Ramblers, making 14 league appearances before the season's end, netting three times in the process, as Cobh finished sixth in the First Division.
In 2016 he made a further 12 league appearances as the Rams finished third and made it to the promotion play-offs where they lost out to Drogheda Utd in the semi-finals.
In December 2016 he signed up for a third season with the Ramblers but departed Cobh in July 2017 due to work and study commitments and he is currently enjoying his time with local club Wanderers.
"My time at Ramblers was brilliant and I loved playing League of Ireland with them.
"I scored on my debut against UCD and really enjoyed my time playing there but I knew that I would not have the commitment required towards the end of this season as I was searching for a teaching job and luckily I was able to get one and am now teaching at Colaiste Fionnchua.
"I made the decision to leave as I wanted to ensure that I could secure employment and I would find it difficult to travel to away matches on a Friday night.
"It took a lot of hard work to graduate from UCC so my main objective after getting my degree was to secure employment in a school and as a result, I was unable to give the necessary commitment required.
"Although we nearly always trained 4-5 days a week with Ramblers being an amateur club securing employment has to be my main priority.
"It is definitely my ambition to return to League of Ireland but my teaching profession comes first.
"I signed with Cobh Wanderer's this year and it’s great playing for another local team which has all Cobh players. The majority of this squad played or could play League of Ireland but due to work commitments are unable to do so. We have a great squad and a great bond as we are all local lads.
"We are doing our best to ensure that we win as many trophies as possible come the end of the season. It means a lot more to the players and the town as we are all Cobh natives. The support that the lads received from the town last year was incredible and shows the interest that the Cobh people have in supporting their own."
Currently, holders of the Keane Cup, Abbott believes the squad are more than capable of winning more silverware this year and with a replay against Avondale awaiting them, he hopes they will come out on top and get one step closer of making a return to the Aviva this year.
"Everyone in this team are hungry to win trophies.
"The Keane Cup Final was a great night but everyone has quickly moved on from that and we are focused on doing well in the league and Intermediate Cup.
"Success will be defined at the end of the season when all the games are over and we can reflect on how well we have done.
"We will play Avondale in a replay and I have no doubt that will be another tough game.
"They also have a great squad with players like Josh, Andy and Hughie who I played with at UCC.
"Both teams are hungry to win the match so it will be another interesting matchup.
"I’m sure that we will face each other a lot throughout the year as both teams have a great squad.
"We do believe that we can win the Intermediate Cup this year but I’m sure Avondale and others feel the same.
"Myself, Brendan Frahill and Martin Deady among others are all new additions to an already great squad so hopefully, we can continue to progress as a team and do our best in each competition.
"The prospect of playing in the Aviva is obviously a huge incentive. Everyone wants to get to the final and we are all relishing the challenge to do so.
"Winning the Munster Senior League is probably the main objective of the club with the Intermediate being a bonus.
"There is a great buzz during the Intermediate Cup week and the support the club always receives is incredible.
"There are League of Ireland clubs throughout the country that do not receive the support that this local club does.
"My ambition first and foremost is to be a great PE & History teacher and help my students wherever I am lucky enough to teach.
"I had a great experience in Colaiste Muire, Cobh and I hope to help other students enjoy their school experience and promote physical activity.
"From a sporting point of view, I hope to continue to play football for as long as I can and give back to the young players in Cobh through coaching.
"I am currently working my way through my badges which I really enjoy and hopefully, in the future, I will be able to share my knowledge and experience to help youngsters improve their footballing ability."