Pepper's Food for Thought

Jacob Pepper has always had two passions in life - football and food.

Jacob Pepper has always had two passions in life - football and food.

As a youngster growing up in the Newcastle suburb of West Wallsend, Pepper would spend countless hours playing soccer before going home and finishing off with a good feed.

Flash forward to today and the daily tradition continues.

Only difference, though, Pepper is now living his childhood dream as a career.

On top of his commitments with the Jets, the 21-year-old is studying a degree in Nutrition at the University of Newcastle.

It's a degree Pepper has always aspired to do and one he'd like to one day combine with his job as a professional A-League player.

“Nutrition these days is a big area in sporting teams," Pepper says.

“You-ve always got to have something to back you up after your football career, so this is the perfect place for me to set up my career.

“So if I can get a job in a football area after my career, well that would be the best possible pathway.

“It's something that I-ve always wanted to do as well.

"Hopefully I can start to use my skills in the club and help them out a bit, because that will also help me in the practical area of my degree.

"At the end of the day, professional footballers eat the right kind of stuff, so it helps me as well."

Pepper may be excelling off the field in his university studies, but he is also enjoying success on the field.

From playing a fringe role last season to stepping up to the starting side for two starts and five matches off the bench, the local lad is enjoying playing a part in the Jets' rise.

It's why Pepper says he felt compelled to signed a two-year extension of this contract this morning. "Ever since Tinkler (Nathan) took over the club, the club has been going forward," he says.

"The way we are going this season and hopefully we can be successful in the future.

"As you grow up, you always want to play for your local side in front of the supporters.

"As a local you-re pretty well known, because you grew up here.

"So it feels so good.

"My family are from Newcastle and they-ve supported me through my juniors and it-s good to give back to your community as well."

Pepper says Newcastle is buzzing on the back of the Club's recent success and he insists the support is a huge boost for the players.

"Newcastle deserves to win and we-ve been getting results at home, which is the main thing," he says.

"There is nothing better than getting the win in front of the home crowd.

"I think there are only better things to come."

Just like Pepper's career in nutrition, it seems.

Pepper and Ben Kantarovski re-signed on Friday, CLICK HERE for all the details.