PHC goalkeeper Coleridge Fubler heads to England
Coleridge Fubler cannot wait to take the next step on the road to becoming a professional footballer.
The PHC Zebras goalkeeper has signed with the International Development Academy in Reading, England, and is excited about the opportunity it provides.
“I am very excited to take this next step in my career because I see it as an opportunity to develop as a footballer and as a person,” an elated Fubler told The Royal Gazette. “My ultimate goal in football is obviously to go pro but my goal is just getting to a high level in the game in the UK.”
Ross Weatherstone, the academy’s general manager, was delighted to have secured the 19-year-old’s signature.
“I’m excited to welcome Coleridge and get him involved with the academy,” he said. “Coleridge is someone that I have been monitoring for a while and have been speaking to him and his family for probably coming up 12 months in relation to the opportunity we have here in England.
“We went through a process with him and he felt coming over for the 2022-23 season may be a little early, so we continued to stay in contact and I am really, really delighted that we’ve now got him signed and ready to go for the 2023-24 season.
“He will be based with us in Reading in the academy. He will be joining us in August and will be planning to stay with us for the season.”
Weatherstone has high expectations for Fubler and anticipates him making an instant impact in his new surroundings.
“From what I have seen when I’ve been on island and watched him play and spoken to different people, my expectations are that he comes in and hits the ground running,” Weatherstone said.
“He’s obviously contending for the No 1 jersey for the under-23s and if he continues to perform to the levels that I think he can perform, then there will be a semi-professional pathway presented to him if he’s obviously demonstrating those abilities.”
Fubler is the latest Bermudian to join the academy behind a host of others including national team player Reese Jones.
“We have a number of Bermudians with us that have all been working with us throughout the season,” Weatherstone said. “Reese Jones has been with us and is playing in the first team at Hartley Wintney FC.
“Rahzir Smith-Jones has been with us and is now playing with Tooting & Mitcham United, which is another one of our partner clubs as a semi-professional team.
“Ryan Lopes also plays for them and we have probably got another seven players that are featuring in with the under-23s or under-21s.”
As Fubler becomes the latest Bermudian to join the academy, he is keen to pay tribute to PHC after breaking into the senior team at a young age.
“I am a product of growing up within the PHC community,” he said. “I have been in the programme since under-sevens, working through the age groups until I got my debut for the senior team when I turned 16 in 2020.”
After starting as an outfield player, Fubler’s talent between the posts was identified early and he has made a seamless transition to shot-stopper.
“I started as an outfield player in defence and it wasn’t until I got to under-sevens
when my coach at the time put me in goal,” Fubler said. “The starting goalkeeper got hurt and since then I‘ve been a goalkeeper.
“The younger me hated it, but present and future me will appreciate it tremendously.”
Fubler is coming off an excellent season, playing an integral role in helping PHC to clinch Premier Division and Friendship Trophy honours.
“I would sum up my season as a great one,” he said. “I’ve had the privilege to help my team get two trophies and was able to achieve my personal goals.”
Fubler is also a member of the national squad, where he is learning from new Bermuda captain Dale Eve.
“It’s always an honour and joy to play for your country,” he said. “I have had the opportunity to represent Bermuda at under-17 and under-20 level and I’m a part of the senior team.”
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