Ger­sh­field off to live the Amer­i­can dream

The Jewish Chronicle - - SPORT - BY CRAIG SIL­VER

Win­gate & Finch­ley star­let James Ger­sh­field is fol­low­ing in the foot­steps of David Beck­ham af­ter mak­ing a move to Amer­ica to join Fort Lewis Col­lege on a four-year soc­cer schol­ar­ship in Colorado.

The 19-year-old from Stan­more will fly out to join the col­lege side, nick­named the Sky­hawks, in Au­gust where he will be­gin pre-sea­son train­ing and aim to lead the team to the NCAA cham­pi­onships whilst study­ing Busi­ness Man­age­ment.

“To be hon­est, I just can’t wait to get out there,” said Ger­sh­field. “The stan­dard of foot­ball is very de­cent, and al­though Amer­i­can soc­cer has its crit­ics, I be­lieve it will be an in­cred­i­ble ex­pe­ri­ence for me.”

The 6ft 1in striker joined Win­gate & Finch­ley at the start of last sea­son, hav­ing pre­vi­ously played for Lon­don Mac­cabi Li­ons and had tri­als at QPR. Last sum­mer he was Team Eng­land’s top-scorer at the Euro­pean Mac- cabi Games in Rome. Af­ter send­ing a Youtube video of him play­ing to var­i­ous coaches in the USA, he was even­tu­ally recog­nised by head coach Tim Hank­in­son.

Hank­in­son was very im­pressed and trav­elled to North Lon­don to watch him play in the Ry­man League Di­vi­sion One North. “He has got great pace and knows how to fin­ish,” said Hank­in­son. “As a for­ward he is very good at get­ting be­hind de­fences and can also at­tack from a wide po­si­tion.”

Ger­sh­field also spoke about the prospect of rep­re­sent­ing Great Bri­tain at the Mac­cabiah in 2009. “Hav­ing cap­tained the Un­der 17 team in 2005, I would love the chance to rep­re­sent my coun­try in the open com­pe­ti­tion. But I will have to wait and see how it all works out as I have to con­cen­trate on my ca­reer in the states.”

Ger­sh­field’s long-term dream is to get scouted and play in Ma­jor League Soc­cer with the likes of Beck­ham, Danny Di­chio, for­mer New­cas­tle winger Laurent Robert and Ar­gen­tinian star Clau­dio Lopez.

Scholar: James Ger­sh­field

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