BY TOBY PORTER
George Lapslie might be the first member of his family to get a degree but he knows exactly where the family work ethic comes from.
The 22-year-old graduated from Anglia Ruskin University after studying sports science specialising in nutrition.
He says it has certainly helped him with his own fitness for matches – but hard work is also a part of his game.
And he believes that attitude has been handed to him down the years through his family.
“My dad is an electrician and he is non-stop helping people all the time,” said Lapslie.
“My grandad is a design technology teacher. They are both grafters and they have instilled in me the right attitude – which has helped me in my career.
“In the first year of university my timetable was horrendous. I had regularly to do assignments within a week.
“As time goes on, you get to grips with it – you do an hour here and an hour there and then another one later on and chip away at what needs to be done.
“I do like computer games – FIFA especially – but while I’m studying there were months when I had to have a games ban – especially when I was working on my dissertation.”
Lapslie is committed to keeping the academic side going as well.
“I would like to do a masters eventually,” he said. “I will need a year out and I then will bring my focus back to study. I’ve been enjoying it – and doing stuff on my new home with my dad. Not sitting on the Xbox all day playing FIFA.
“I have had a bit of banter about being a graduate from the boys to be fair – but to be honest I thought I would get more.
“A few of them are actually quite interested in maybe going down the same route. I’ve had a few texts from other academy graduates asking how to go about it.
“I said to all of them that it is important to have a back-up plan.”
Lapslie – whose brother Tom plays for Colchester United in League Two – has always enjoyed schooling, he claims.
“I’ve always thought education was important through my school years,” he said, “I never minded going to school and I never had days off.
“I probably enjoyed the breaks and the lunches more than the lessons but I had good teachers, especially at German. And I found it interesting even though I was probably not the best at languages.
“There is an uncle who went to university but other than him, my nan told me I was the first one in the family to get a degree. I’m quite proud of that.
“When I committed to it, I probably didn’t realise how much work I was letting myself in for.
“There were a few business degrees I could have taken but I’m an outdoor person – I have to do something sport orientated.”
The course covered nutrition and gym work and mental health issues – there were also some lessons about visualisation.
“Everything I was doing I’ve been applying to my game,” he said.
“My dissertation was on nutrition and my diet has really improved. It is about what you eat and when you eat as well.
“I’ve been loading on carbohydrates two days before a game but it is not good to have them on the morning of a match.”
Lapslie will not be using his degree to climb the office side to board level, though.
“My brother wants to be a manager but I would rather be a coach and get out on to the pitch,” he said.
“That was on my mind when I choose the degree. If my brother gets to be a manager maybe I could be his physio or his assistant.
“My main current ambition is just to apply myself to every training session like it is the most
“One day it will be my dream to captain Charlton but I know I have got a long way to go. It’s not something on the horizon in any way, shape or form – but it would be surreal.”