“I feel like I’m cheating. I want to be out there working with someone, for someone, for a club, because I’ve had it my whole life” – Anwar Uddin
By Charlie MacKinnon
After recently taking charge at Ryman League Division One strugglers Ware FC, Anwar Uddin is determined to make his mark and turn results around.
“A manager rarely goes into a club when things are going fantastically” said the 35-year-old, with his new side sitting 19th in the table.
The 35-year-old became the first British Asian to captain a football club in the top four divisions of English football whilst at Dagenham & Redbridge, and works for The Football Supporters Federation (FSF) in partnership with Kick It Out.
Speaking to Kick It Out about the reasons for taking charge at Ware, Uddin said: “The chairman contacted me and told me there was a vacancy, and like most things in football things happen really quickly and you have to make a fast decision.
“This seemed like the right fit at the right time, I went with my instinct and said yes.”
Ware have lost 15 of their 29 league matches this season, but the former Sporting Bengal United Manager is confident he can be the man to save their season.
“It’s always a little bit of a baptism of fire, but I suppose that’s why you are a manager and the experience that you gain means you can go on and take these opportunities and get it right.
“These changes don’t happen overnight but I’m sure we can turn things around at the club”
Uddin’s managerial career began at Barnet in 2011 where he became assistant manager after ending his 15-year playing career.
When asked about the potential impact of his experience, he spoke of the importance of positivity as a team: “I think it’s important that you have a bit of clarity, you’re confident in what you do, and the way in which you approach the game as a team. It’s about being positive.
“If results don’t work out for you and you’re facing being near the bottom of the table it’s not a nice place to be.”
A product of West Ham United’s academy system, Uddin was the first person of Bangladeshi origin to play professional football in England.
Uddin believes his experience coaching in the Essex Senior League with Sporting and assistant coach of current League leaders Maldon & Tiptree will stand him in good stead for the task at Ware.
“For me it’s all about development – what an opportunity to take a team that is near the bottom of the pyramid in English football. I’ve learned that there are players out there that are hungry to learn and develop. Money’s not the motivation”
Uddin was appointed as the FSF’s Diversity and Campaigns Manager in March 2014, and admitted maintaining a balance between his day job and his managerial career is one he is relishing
“My job working for the FSF and Kick It Out is really important to me, but I’ve always said ‘If you’ve got an opportunity to learn, don’t turn it down’.”
Uddin and Ware’s next league game is a trip to Thamesmead Town on Saturday after last weekend’s postponed fixture at home to Waltham Abbey.
Article: Charlie MacKinnon (@CKMSport)
Image: Reuters Media (Action Images)