Continuing our series looking at the secret passion of footballers, this week we travel to the English Riviera to meet an Austrian-Pole with a passion for science...

Torquay United goalkeeper Bobby Olejnik has a second string to his bow that defies the typical footballer stereotype: he loves science. When the Austrian tucks his gloves away for the day, the study books are opened for his course in social science, which will hopefully one day lead to a degree in physics.

He may be building a reputation as one of the top goalkeepers in npower League 2 but the smart money is on him enjoying similar success in the world of academia.

Originally part of Aston Villa's youth system, the 25-year-old keeper joined Lincoln City on loan before signing for Falkirk, where he made over 100 appearances in Scottish football. Gulls boss Martin Ling made him one of his main targets last summer and since starting the season with a man-of-the match performance against Burton Albion Olejnik has hardly looked back.

"I've enjoyed my first six months at Torquay United so much," he said. "I used to watch the Football League Show when I was up in Scotland and think how I wanted to go back to England. Now that I'm here, every single second is so enjoyable."

While enjoying his football in League 2, Bobby is also looking to a possible new career when he finally hangs up the green keeper's jersey, and his love of science is very much to the fore.

"I am on a course from the Open University and it's sort of a foundation year, basically something you have to do in order to pursue any degree," he said.

"The course covers all the basics of social science, such as geology, biology and physics, which is the subject I'm most interested in. It teaches you the basics of equations and once you know that you can pursue your favourite area.

"I enjoy numbers and I finished a course in maths just after I signed here at Torquay. Numbers have always fascinated me and that ties in with physics."

There should be few problems in closing angles or judging the flight of a ball but if the dressing room banter at Plainmoor ever turns to astro-physics then Bobby will feel right at home:

"My girlfriend's brother has a degree in astro-physics and the whole family is involved. My girlfriend has a masters in biology and another brother has a masters in journalism. My brother also works in a really difficult chemistry school in Vienna.

"I used to watch a lot of documentaries but I haven't actually got a TV at home at the moment. I have a subscription to the New Scientist and enjoy reading that. My evenings are spent reading books and working on the computer.

"My assignments are just uploaded to the Open University website and they assess it from there. You get sent eight or nine books and then the course gives you a month to work through each book.

"It is so different from professional football and that's why I like it. I can take my mind away from a bad run of form or even if you're doing well, it stops you for getting ahead of yourself."

Born in Austria and originally on the books of Austria Vien, the six foot two inch keeper had his family visiting for the big local derby against Plymouth Argyle and is quick to pass the credit for his academic success on to his father:

"My Dad is really into football and he was here for the Plymouth game. My Dad was also a goalkeeper back in Poland but had to stop playing because of injury.

"His views are very much the same: enjoy your football but also make sure you have some sort of education because that's what happened to him. He stopped playing football at 20 and took the education path."

That education should stand Bobby in good stead in later years but for now he is totally committed to his football and loving life with the Gulls. His form is catching the eye of many shrewd judges and who knows where that might lead?

"Both my parents are Polish and I do see myself as Polish. I was born in Austria and my nationality is Austrian, but if I was given the chance to play international football, it would be for Poland."

For all the latest news on Torquay United please click here

With thanks to Tim Herbert and to TQ1, Torquay United's matchday programme for their assistance with this interview.