That’s what we call a real number one
Ran Kadoch has made football history by becoming the first Israeli goalkeeper to sign for an English club after joining Barnet,.
The 22-year-old stopper, who holds a French passport, has joined from Israeli third division side Nes Ziona following a spell with Hapoel Ranana, as we exclusively revealed online on Friday.
Kadoch had a trial at Oldham Athletic earlier in the summer but was snapped up by Bees boss Paul Fairclough after second-half spells in friendlies against Watford and Leeds.
Safe hands: Keeper Ran Kadoch hopes to improve Barnet's fortunes
He was unable to debut against Brentford last weekend as his international clearance had not arrived.
Initially, it appeared that Kadoch would not be signed as Fairclough told him that he had sufficient strength in depth in the goalkeeping department.
But following the defeat against Brentford, Fairclough revealed the reason for his change of heart. "He has really impressed me, technically and mentally," he said.
"I have not signed him to sit around and do nothing."
Kadoch will battle it out with Lee Harrison and Rob Beckwith for the No. 1 shirt.
Born in Jerusalem, Kadoch starting playing football aged eight. He lived in Reshion Lezion for 15 years before moving to Nes Ziona.
He said: "It was always my dream to play abroad. I have never supported a team. I just like good football, but now I am a Barnet fan.
"Everyone has been very nice and welcoming at Underhill. There is a very good environment at Barnet. It's a good place to start."
So, what kind of player can Barnet fans expect? "Petr Cech is my role model. I like the way he plays. He reads the game and deals with crosses very well. I like playing hard and am not afraid of physical contact."
Under Fairclough, Kadoch could not be in better hands as the England C team national boss used to be a scout at Arsenal and spent his playing days at Liverpool. Player-coach Ian Hendon played for Spurs while goalkeeping coach Harrison played for Charlton and Fulham.
Kadoch, who has been living with a family in Canon's Park, said: "It's a very big honour to represent Israel everywhere. I hope to do my best to represent my country the best I can.
"Any Israeli that succeeds abroad is a role model. In order to succeed you need a very special character." As for his long-term aims, "playing for Israel is one of my ultimate goals," he said. "This is the beginning of a dream."
His agent, Lee Earl, said: "Ran is very ambitious. His ability and determination are what's clinched the move. He deserves to succeed. "
Kadoch commented: "I couldn't have done anything without Lee who has been working day and night to help realise my dream."
He hopes to make his debut debut in tomorrow's trip to Chester.
Hapoel Tel Aviv and Israel Under 21 keeper Ohad Levite has returned home following a five-day trial at Blackburn.
Former Watford striker Gifton Noel-Williams has signed for Bnei Sakhnin and could mnake his debut against Betar Jerusalem in the Israeli League this weekend.
As we went to press, West Bromwich Albion had agreed a deal to sign Betar's Ghanaian international Derek Boateng.