A student at a college in Bushey will be heading to the United States later this year to begin a soccer scholarship.
As part of National Letter of Intent (NLI) Signing Day, when all prospective soccer scholars sign for their college teams, Immanuel College Year 13 student Reuben Rabstein signed for the Riverhawks at Northeastern State University, Oklahoma.
Reuben started playing football at the age of six for Maccabi London Lions FC. He represented Great Britain in the European Maccabi Games, winning a gold medal, and was then selected to join team GB at the Maccabiah Games in Israel last summer. The Maccabi Games are an international Jewish and Israeli multi-sport event, held every four years in Israel. With over 10,000 athletes competing, it is the third largest sporting event in the world.
Reuben joined Wingate and Finchley FC in August 2017, playing for the U23s and the First Team against the likes of Barnet FC in the FA Youth Cup, and was scouted for Yeovil Town FC, where he played his first professional match against Portsmouth Under 18s. He will join the Riverhawks at the beginning of August
Reuben said he cannot wait to join up with his new team.
He commented: “I’m really excited to be joining the Riverhawks because of the fresh and exciting programme they have. Coaches and players care about each other and embody the Oklahoma spirit. I am delighted to be studying abroad and am looking forward to immersing myself in the sports culture that is so profound in American society.”
When Riverhawks’ coach Eric Crawford was asked how Reuben had been spotted, he replied: “We saw Reuben in a highlight video that was sent out. After watching the video multiple times we saw some raw tools that are very tough to teach. He’s incredibly tall, and high points the ball well on crosses into the box. He’s strong and more importantly, his hands are strong which makes him tough to beat. After we reached out and met him and his family we knew Reuben would be a great fit in our group.”
Eric went on to add that he is delighted that Reuben is joining the team because ”it gives us a player that we think has a very high upside and a huge amount of potential. Our goalkeeper coach is salivating at the chance to mould and fine-tune Reuben into an even better player. We can’t stress enough how important his personality and family were in the recruiting process. Moving away from home is a very big step in the life of any student athlete and seeing his family be incredibly supportive really made us feel we had picked the right guy. We also like the confidence and attitude we saw over the phone calls and recruiting process, Reuben is a player who wants to work and earn the starting job and we are excited for that. He also has a solid academic background that we feel will translate to university well, and that he will be a player that excels not only on the field but in the classroom as well.”
Picture Courtesy of Malka Weissler