Name: Ori Hatuka
Team: Inter Aliyah A
Originally from: New Jersey, USA
Favourite Team: Liverpool and Sevilla
Football Idols: Andres Iniesta and Kevin De Bruyne
Interesting Fact: Ori is not only talented in football but is clearly an all-round sportsman. He is a multiple-time national champion in ballroom dancing, as well as winning the Warren County Tae-Kwon-Do tournament in New Jersey!
''I've been playing on an organized soccer team since I was 11-years-old but even before, I would play with my dad at home or at the park with friends. I don't remember exactly when the love of soccer started but it's always been there for me.
''My family are Israeli and I was born in Rehovot, but grew up in East Brunswick, New Jersey from the age of 2. I came back to Israel last year because my parents are thinking of moving here after my sister finishes high school, but since I already finished I thought why don't I get used to living here.
Ori (front row, 6th from the left) before the season's final game
''I am finishing up my semester online at Rutgers University, New Brunswick and after I am done, I plan to transfer to another college in Israel for the remainder of my undergraduate after the summer finishes.
''I heard about Inter Aliyah through a friend. He told me that he thought it would make my transition to Israel easier for me because everyone speaks English and Hebrew. He was right!
Celebrations in the stands after Ori's last minute winner against Shikma Hen
''Since I live in Holon with my grandmother, I joined a local Liga Gimmel team, Hapoel Tzafririm Holon and spent the first half of the 22/23 season there before joining Inter Aliyah.
''Ironically, we beat Tzafririm at the end of the season to overtake them into 1st place in the league, eventually becoming champions at their expense. Funny how things work out.
Ori Hatuka, Liga Gimmel Champion 2022/23
''The most special thing about Inter Aliyah is the professionalism. When the team sets a goal there are no distractions and nothing gets in the way, but at the same time we stay composed and support one another.
''Most people would probably think my favorite Inter Aliyah memory so far is scoring the last minute winner against Shikma Hen, which extended our winning streak and kept us in the race for the title.
Ori with an outrageous assist for Vlad Kart against Holon Mor
''However, the truth is that I have even fonder memories of the team events, such as the famous BBQs, where I bonded with my teammates. I also have to mention feeding Bamba to Mundo (the coach's dog) when we watched my old team Tzaririm lose in the play-off game .