A FORMER Oxford United academy player has described playing for England Schoolboys as a ‘once in a lifetime’ experience.

Niko Nenonen-Millar was released by United last summer, before joining up with Velocity Football, based at Oxford City.

The 17-year-old donned the Three Lions jersey as part of England’s Centenary Shield campaign against Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and the Republic of Ireland.

The central defender featured in all four fixtures, helping England to seven points, including wins against Northern Ireland and Scotland.

READ ALSO: Crunch week as Ross Jenkins looks to sort player futures at Oxford City

Nenonen-Millar said it was a privilege to represent his country and something he’ll never forget.

“It was a once in a lifetime experience,” he said.

“To represent your country and play in front of the TV cameras is not something everyone gets the opportunity to do.

“The coaching staff gave me some great feedback and I was really pleased with my performances.”

Oxford Mail: Niko Nenonen-Millar represented England SchoolboysNiko Nenonen-Millar represented England Schoolboys

Earlier this season, Nenonen-Millar was one of two Oxfordshire students selected to represent their respective England Schools’ football teams.

Nenonen-Millar was selected for the England Schoolboys under-18 squad, while Cecily Wellesley-Smith was called up for the Schoolgirls under-15 squad.

The call-ups represented the first time Oxfordshire had two students representing England during the same season.

READ AGAIN: Two Oxfordshire students get England Schools call-ups

Former Gosford Hill School student Nenonen-Millar enrolled with Velocity in September, and combines training and National League academy matches with working towards completing a Level 3 BTEC.

He hopes to use his time at Velocity to study in America, or continue his ambition to become a professional footballer.

“Enrolling onto the Velocity Football programme is one of the best things I’ve done,” he said.

“I get to balance education with training, which for me is perfect.

“I can continue to chase my dream of becoming a professional footballer knowing I’ll gain an industry recognised qualification at the end.

“Many of my friends on the course aren’t interested at all in becoming a professional player – they’re more focused on exploring careers in coaching, analysis, physiotherapy and nutrition.

“To anyone with a passion for sport who is leaving school this year or unsure of what they’re doing at sixth form or college, I’d definitely recommend enrolling.

“My tutors and coaches have really helped me to develop as a person and I feel that has helped to improve my game on the pitch.”