Sheffield United: Jack O'Connell on his spartan lifestyle and partner Alex Greenwood's high-profile move to France
Despite fulfilling his ambition of becoming a Premier League footballer when Sheffield United were promoted last term, Jack O'Connell has admitted to leading pretty spartan lifestyle as Chris Wilder's side begins its push for top-flight survival.
Rather than accepting invitations to gala openings or being treated like royalty at glitzy events, the defender spends his evening's buried deep in coursework after enrolling on a sports science degree.
"I am doing a university degree so I don't really have time to do sit there and go through Instagram and stuff like that," O'Connell said after being quizzed on his thoughts about recent social media controversies involving some of his contemporaries. "I don't have a Twitter account or anything like that either. When I get home, it's study and stuff to do with that."
O'Connell's meant he appeared oblivious to the furore surrounding the online abuse Paul Pogba received after missing a penalty during Manchester United's recent draw with Wolves. Under orders to canvass opinion among the midfielder's contemporaries, those journalists determined to press the issue when he addressed the media on Thursday found O'Connell a pretty meagre source of quotes.
Indeed, speaking ahead of tomorrow's game against Leicester City, the 25-year-old explained he is set to become even more absorbed in his studies now Alex Greenwood, his partner and fellow professional, has joined six-time UEFA Women's Champions League winners Olympique Lyonnais.
"She has gone over there now so at home I just concentrate on football and my degree," he said. "It is a massive move for her. A really tough decision. She likes her home comforts. So, it was tough to leave but the move was one she could not turn down if wants to be successful."
"We met each other in school," O'Connell added. "I was playing Sunday League and she was at Everton, part-time. "Now she plays for the best club in the world and I am in the Premier League. Sometimes, you do have to pinch yourself. But in our household, you just want to get better."