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East London university footballers heading to Malaysia

PUBLISHED: 15:14 02 April 2014 | UPDATED: 15:14 02 April 2014

Eleven specially chosen students from the University of East London will soon be setting off to Malaysia for an ambassadorial football tour.

The students, who are studying subjects including business, sport, accounting and computing, will be in Malaysia from April 6 to April 16.

They are all from UEL Football Club’s first, second and third teams and will be meeting students from colleges and a university in Kuala Lumpur, and playing football against them.

The tour will encourage prospective students in Malaysia to consider UEL as a place to study and enable them to speak directly to people who live and study in London. It will also help the footballers learn about, and experience, different cultures, develop as individuals and boost their career prospects.

First year student and team captain Kane Taylor, 22, who is studying Special Educational Needs and Inclusive Education, said: “I am absolutely buzzing about this trip and when I was made captain it boosted it even more. I have only been abroad four times in my life and I’ve never been to that part of the world – this is a massive thing for me. The rest of the boys feel the same way too.

“We are playing at night and the heat – it gets to 30C - will get to me, and will have a big impact on all of us. It will be exciting meeting the students and comparing Kuala Lumpur to east London – I guarantee it’s going to be very different. I really look forward to experiencing Malaysia, the culture, the sights, going to markets and trying the food.”

Football matches will be against FTMS (8-a-side) and Linton colleges on 10 and 12 April (respectively) and Universiti Putra Malaysia on 14 April.

The students who were chosen came from hundreds who attended the football team trials and the 11 players were whittled down from the 70 in UEL’s three football teams, after also meeting various academic requirements.

Arfan Akram, UEL’s international sports development officer, said: “This is a once in a life-time opportunity for these students – one of them has never even left the UK and none have been to South East Asia, let alone Malaysia.

“Students who have gone on similar tours have grown in maturity, given back to the university and local community and we anticipate exactly the same happening with these lucky lads.”

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