Reuben: Shelter home built my character

Having been injury-hit for two years, PDRM right-back K. Reuben returned to action at the start of this season. Four months in, the 26-year-old speaks to Vijhay Vick about the injuries he never saw coming, his new club, national team aspirations and the Desa Amal Jireh charity home he grew up in. 

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“Fear? Of course there are always fears but you just have to pick things up and move on.”

That was how PDRM right-back K. Reuben got over the two long-term injuries he suffered. First an anterior cruciate ligament tear kept him out for action in 2014, and when he returned to action in 2015, Reuben fractured his right ankle.

While many footballers will be left traumatised by such experience, resulting in half-hearted tackles and challenges on the pitch, the former international was an exception.

“I cannot describe how it feels to be back on the pitch and playing regularly again. Even when we (PDRM) have bad days, I think back on the last two years and the thought that I’m on the pitch again is amazing,” Reuben told FourFourTwo at the launch of the Puma’s new Trick boots..

“The first week upon sustaining the injuries was the worst. It was emotional but I got over it. I prayed a lot and that helped … family and friends too. I came to terms with the injuries and accepted it. I told myself I was going to get over it and do everything necessary to get onto the pitch again.

“The thing is I never saw my injuries coming. I have no memories of how it happened because I was hit from behind. Maybe that helped because I’m not hesitating into challenges now.”

Having spent most of his life at the Desa Amal Jireh, a home his parents set up 31 years ago, Reuben feels that has helped build his career and it has taught him a thing or two about life.

“Family, charity, people, etc … all these shaped me into the person I am today,” said Reuben.

Reuben training kids at Desa Amal Jireh

“I may appear as a robust player, bordering on aggressive, but I have no intentions of harming anyone. I simply want to do my job on the pitch to the best of my ability. I hold no grudges against anyone on the pitch too.

“I grew up with over a 100 friends at the home and some of them are my good friends today. I guess this is why I’m a people's person. In fact I actually enjoy meeting people and making friends.”