AS a former player for England's Coventry City, Daniel Ireland knows how to defend his goals.
The 24-year-old soccer player is midway through his commerce degree with the University of Newcastle, and recently represented the institute in the Australian University Games.
The event, held last month at the Gold Coast, saw universities from across the country compete in a range of sports, including soccer, lawn bowls, ultimate frisbee and karate.
Newcastle's soccer team, which Ireland plays for, took home one of 32 medals for the university.
Newcastle played against Sydney's University of Technology in second division and won, placing the team in first division for next year's games.
Ireland has played soccer since he was six years old for local clubs including Merewether, Port Stephens and Edgeworth.
He was fresh out of high school when he left for England, and spent five years there.
He then returned to Australia to continue playing soccer for the Lambton Jaffas and the university.
Ireland said he enjoyed the recent win at the games, but still had England in his sights for when he finished his three-year degree.
"Australia will always be home, but I haven't totally given up on the idea of going back to England," he said.