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 Maccabi 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.