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Ilford coach hopes Arsenal course will help realise his professional dreams

10:15 14 October 2016

Syed Asad Ali, known as Asad, manages the under 10s football at Frenford Youth Club

Syed Asad Ali, known as Asad, manages the under 10s football at Frenford Youth Club

Archant

When a young man found he could not realise his dream of becoming a professional footballer, he turned his attention to helping others.

Syed Asad Ali, of Stanley Road, Ilford, who prefers to be called Asad, said it had always been his dream to play the beautiful game.

Sadly, Asad was not selected to play for a youth academy and as time went on, felt the dream slipping away.

But he found another passion.

“I decided to coach and help with the grassroots,” he said.

The 20-year-old volunteers at Frenford Youth Club, at The Jack Carter Centre, The Drive, Ilford, working with the under-16s and under-14s and directly managing the under-10s.

He instils his long-held passion into those who visit the club after school and during holidays.

Asad has dedicated hundreds of hours in service to the youth centre and his selflessness has netted him a Recorder/Redbridge Rotary Club Young Citizen Award nomination.

Centre manager Irfan Shah said: “Asad is a great candidate for his voluntary service to our youth club over the past five years and in particular the under-10s’ football.

“He is always on call when the club needs him and has often gone over the call of duty.”

Asad hopes to make a career out of coaching and is studying London Metropolitan University’s physical education and football coaching with Arsenal in the community degree.

“I’m in my final year,” said Asad.

“My dream would be a head coach or manager of a professional club.”

Modestly, he said his nomination came as a “surprise”.

“I’m pretty sure that there’s other people that could have been nominated. But I am pleased that they picked me.”

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