Konstantin Jung has been in goal for KSV Hessen Kassel for many years. Now a new adventure begins. The 20-year-old is attracted to the United States.
Kassel – “I really recognized myself in injury time for the final.” A sentence that contains much more than an identification with one’s sport. It also reveals its influence on the development of a strong personality. And his spokesperson Constantine Jung expresses himself one day.
The 20-year-old goalkeeper took his biggest step yet into a promising footballing future last year. He won the competition in a multi-stage application process and will be studying economics at the renowned Yale University from this summer. At the same time, he can live out his love for football in the university team.
“Even during my postgraduate years I was thinking about how to combine sports with studying after high school,” says the 1.98m boy, who played for the youth team and KSV Hessen Kassel before his transfer. “The United States fits like a glove. But the question also arises: Is that even possible?” Colleague Niklas Neumann showed him how it could be done: The 24-year-old went to a college in Maryland for a year in 2019. Inspired by his story Jung also dared to try it – and events took their course.
The application process started in 2021
The application process started two years ago. First with the sports part: applicants to watch tournaments should get the attention of coaches from college teams. Coaches express interest in a contact person for the player or the agency they work with. Young, who has competed in two tournaments in Frankfurt and one in Boston, was able to do something “impossible,” as he says himself: He was noticed by Yale. He conducted two interviews with university officials and also faced a series of demanding questions. At the end of December 2022 he had the obligation in his pocket.
“Despite the high expectations, I feel more anticipation than pressure,” says Jung. “Now I have the opportunity to show what I can do.” As one of three captains of the team, he has already spent a year at a prep school in the USA from August last year through May 2023 – a requirement for admission to Yale. He also grew as a person. “In the United States, the way you express yourself is much more acceptable. Cheerleading is more common there, as you are exposed to completely different points of view. ‘Normal’ is not defined at all.”
Young praised the goalkeeper’s coaching
Young misses words of praise about goalkeeper training under Michael Gebhardt and later also Christoph Wigan. “Their training has strengthened me and shaped my interpretation of the situation.” On the field, he also sees his job as being aware of how the game is going and then directing from behind accordingly. Communication plays an important role as the link between the field players and the coaches.
What Jung values most about his studies is the opportunity to develop his football skills and his interest in business – and giving 100% in both. “It’s ideal to keep driving on two lanes and then be able to take the right exit for me at some point,” he says. “At the end of my studies I can get into the first division or get a job in a company.” In the near future he dreams of winning his collegiate league. This would make it possible to participate in the national championship, preferably the final match at the end of the season.
Written by Luca Gunther
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