IFX Goalkeeper Nathaniel Drew signs with SV Gutenstetten in Germany

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“The process for me to find a team was pretty straightforward,” stated Goalkeeper Nathaniel Drew (18). A native from Boston who touched down Nürnberg as part of Pro Year Germany program was invited by SG Quelle Fürth, one of the long-term IFX Partner clubs, to tend the goal for a couple of pre-season games. “I was able to get a guest player pass and get some game time earlier than expected.” After this stroke of luck, another soccer trial this time with SV Gutenstetten Steinachgrund was arranged by IFX where Nate spent the subsequent two weeks. Making an impact with his trials with Gutenstettn, he then had to decide between the two. “Luckily the two teams actually played against each other in preseason so I was able to compare them in real time from the Gutenstetten goal! The level-headedness and willingness to fight from 2-0 down to win 3-2 was a big factor in my decision, as well as the amazing facilities and the early support I received from my teammates and coaches,” Nate stated.

SV Gutenstetten Steinachgrund competes in the Bezirksliga Mittelfranken Nord and is led by Chief Trainer Daniel Tarone and Co-Trainer Steven Heyer. Currently, the first team leads the league table after a winning streak and steady performance on both defense and offense. “The thing I like the most about Gutenstetten is the combination of professionalism and positivity. My coach both played and coached in the Swiss first division, so his training sessions are always great. At the same time he understands what it’s like to be a player, so he’s never too strict,” Nate explained.

Getting playing time as a goalkeeper can be difficult, as it is not a position where you get subbed in for the last few minutes of a game. You need to prove that you deserve to play in training, and then you need to capitalize on any chances you’re given. “There is good competition between myself and the other Gutenstetten keeper, and we are always pushing ourselves and each other to improve. He’s currently the starter, but I have been playing in our cup games, as well as in the occasional game for the second team.” Although Nate has already some German knowledge from high school, he takes classes of German Language at IFX Partner Language school in Nürnberg. He is currently at the B2 level alongside students from all over the world. To study and speak German has been incredibly helpful as it has helped him integrate into the team more rapidly.

  • Nate was invited by SG Quelle Fürth, to tend the goal for a couple of pre-season games.
  • After this stroke of luck, another soccer trial this time with SV Gutenstetten Steinachgrund was arranged by IFX.

Nate lives in IFX Haus in the city of Fürth which is right next to Nürnberg, and a beautiful city to walk around in. “I often stay for a couple hours after language school and explore.” The best part is that you can spend an afternoon there without spending money and still be able to see the amazing architecture and other sights that it has to offer!
Nate has a busy routine comprised of language school (from Monday to Thursday), club trainings (Tuesday and Thursday with the occasional Wednesday individual session, and then a game on Sunday). IFX training sessions take place Wednesday and Friday.

“IFX helped me a lot in deciding what team I wanted to play with. The IFX sessions are also a good way to get in extra touches and work on weak spots that I notice in training with my club. However, I think IFX has been the most helpful in bringing the group together and introducing everyone to life in Germany. Without the support structure provided, it would have taken a lot longer for me to learn the ropes. At the same time we are given enough freedom to be able to shape our year into something personal.”

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