DEFENDER Jack Stacey revealed how he balanced tactics with textbooks – while studying for a degree alongside his playing career.

The 24-year-old, who has made 13 appearances for Cherries since signing from Luton last summer, is four years into a business and economics degree with The Open University.

Stacey first registered for the course while on loan at Exeter City, from boyhood club Reading.

And he admitted the current suspension of the Premier League has allowed him to fly through his studies.

He told the Premier League: “It’s something I’ve always been interested in and I have done it alongside football now for the past four years. It’s a six-year degree.

“With the spare time that I’ve had, it’s allowed me to catch up on my assignments and I am flying through that at the moment.

“I usually do an hour after training each day once I get back but there have obviously been other times.

“I remember when we beat Chelsea away at Stamford Bridge on a Saturday. A few of the players had gone out to nice restaurants in London.

“I was at home on my laptop, finishing an assignment! That’s when I allow it to catch up on me. At the moment, I’m on top of it.”

Having impressed at Vitality Stadium since signing for just £4million, Stacey is looking a shrewd economic move for Cherries in the current market.

And the Ascot-born star admitted the university course provided another string to his bow away from football, while his stock in the Premier League continues to rise.

Asked how the course came about, he replied: “I was out on loan at Exeter in League Two.

“I was staying in the middle of nowhere in a wooden lodge. We didn’t have any wifi or anything. I couldn’t play PlayStation online or stream movies, so I started to look at different options.

“Business was something I had always been interested in – it was through The Open University.

“I started then and in the four years my football career’s in a slightly different place to where it was but I’ve kept up with it and I am really enjoying it.

“It takes my mind off football and I’d recommend it to players that would be interested in something like that.”