Ruben Parker: Keeper Passes on to Next Generation
It is an exciting and promising season of 2019/2020 football for Hawkes Bay United. The team has new management and the return of co-coaches Chris Greatholder and Bill Robertson bodes well for our local football.
The new HBU team is a mixture of new arrivals and familiar faces. Notable amongst those is the presence of goal keeper Ruben Parker, who after a year in Auckland, has come back for a third season with HBU and taken on the additional responsibilities of team captain.
Born in Spain, Ruben came to live in New Zealand (his dad's native land) at the age of ten. Nine years later, he moved to Hawkes Bay to study Oenology (the study of wine) at EIT, going on to work with some renowned local vineyards after graduating. This is also when he became involved with Hawkes Bay's local football and was first coached by both Bill and Chris.
“The opportunity to work with both of these coaches was a strong incentive to come back to HBU. They each have very valuable and complementary strengths and work really well together, sharing their knowledge and skills with the team. In my first two seasons with HBU, I had also really enjoyed the family-like atmosphere of the club and am pleased to return to this.”
Although he enjoyed Oenology, football became an overwhelming passion so Ruben decided to get involved with the development of future Kiwi players. With a drive like his, it is no surprise that his coaching quickly turned into a successful business. One Stop Goalkeeping was established in 2018 but quickly expanded into One Stop Football, to cover a broader range of skills.
So what's this season looking like for Hawkes Bay United?
“There is a huge potential for the team this year. Our first games came with a few important lessons, which were quickly learned and benefited from. Injuries can be a big worry for players, but with Alex Gairdner as the team Physiotherapist, there is great confidence that, whatever happens, recovery will be faster and easier. With his help, the combined strengths of our two coaches and the strong support of our club, I think we're likely to surprise everyone.”
We look forward to seeing the season develop and the watch the team grow from strength to strength this year. Follow Focus Health on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to get exclusive updates on games and players.