Wonder kid Scott Kashket has completed a dream move to Spanish team Hercules CF.
The youngster from Chigwell was one of the stars of the GB junior futsal team at last summer’s European Maccabi Games in Vienna. He was invited to join after one of the clips of him in action was seen by a scout from the Spanish club on the internet.
Once the home of Argentina legend Mario Kempes, Hercules were relegated from La Liga last season but Kashket is determined to help the club return to the top-flight and play against the likes of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Hercules first contacted Kashket, 16, before the end of last season, when he was in the middle of his GCSE exams.
He said: “Hercules insisted that I go there for a week and sent me a ticket. I flew out on the Wednesday and played a match the next day, but was unable to complete the game as it kicked-off late and I would’ve missed my return flight home.
“Although I was playing with older boys, the club offered me a contract on the spot. I was in shock as I thought the standard was out of my league.”
After lengthy discussions with his family, Kashket put pen to paper and swapped Essex for Alicante.
“For me, it was the right decision,” he said. “The football is amazing. You’re encouraged to play with your heart and not like robots, as some clubs do in England.”
Kashket has taken the Spanish League by storm, scoring six goals in five games, including one hat-trick, playing and scoring for the club’s 16-19 and 18-21 teams.
“The football is everything it should be here and they have welcomed me with open arms,” he said. “It is very hard being away from home, especially when no-one here speaks English, but on the pitch we all understand each other.
“I’m enjoying the one-touch with constant movement. I hope to keep improving and become a better player. I’m playing with players who have played for Real Madrid and Barcelona. Where would I get that opportunity in England?
“My teammates can’t believe I’m English as they think I play like them. It is the first time they have bought an English player of my age over, but it’s a shame that I had to move to Spain to find a team.
“The move wouldn’t have happened if it hadn’t been for Maccabi GB futsal so I want to thank GB bosses Sammy Carr and Jonathan Cohen.
“It’s hard to believe that I’m now playing for a professional team when six months ago I wasn’t even playing football. Next summer I plan to go to Israel for the under-18 football competition at the Maccabiah Games.
“Hopefully this is just the beginning. Either way it is an experience that very few get to have.”