It’s official: the former Exeter City Academy prospect has signed a deal with the Bucks.

‘Rafa’ Beadman has committed his future to Buckland Athletic FC for the 2024/2025 season.

The 17-year old defender spent the later part of the previous season cutting his teeth in the men’s game at Axminster Town, after departing his terms at Exeter City Football club, to continue with his full-time education.

The 6”4 Devon-born central defender spent his entire youth career within the academy at Exeter City and developed as a physically imposing and technically secure defender, who is flexible and can perform well in other roles across the pitch too. Upon his decision to continue with full-time studies, he remained signed on non-contract terms and made a handful of appearances for Exeter City’s Under 18 side last season. There on, he turned out for Axminster Town in the South West Peninsula League, making a huge impression on his teammates and opponents alike and earning several Man of the Match awards.

These performances, coupled with a wealth of glowing personal references from coaches within the professional game, caught the attention of Head Coach Dan Hart, who made Rafael a key target this summer.

Hart said: “I’m very pleased that we have been able to attract a young player such as Rafa to the club. Over the past couple of years we have tried hard to balance our continued improvements with a recognition that we have a duty to develop future players, and Rafael is certainly someone who will go on to excel within the game.”

“His size, and composure on the ball has impressed me, and early signs in pre-season show a young player whose abilities defy his young age. I think everybody at the club can be excited to see how much we can develop him.”

Everyone at Buckland Athletic is delighted to welcome Rafa and his family to The VX3 Stadium, Homers Heath – you can catch him next in our friendly versus Torquay United on Friday 12th July. Tickets can be purchased for this fixture, here.