Anwar Uddin leaves Sporting Bengal United in better place as trio seek new challenge

Anwar Uddin has left Sporting Bengal United after spending the 2015/16 season with the Mile End Stad

Anwar Uddin has left Sporting Bengal United after spending the 2015/16 season with the Mile End Stadium club (pic: Tim Edwards). - Credit: Archant

Former Dagenham & Redbridge captain keeping his options open, but knows next job has to suit all of his management team

Anwar Uddin has praised the Essex Senior League after it was confirmed this week that he would be leaving Sporting Bengal United.

The club announced on Monday morning that the ex-Dagenham & Redbridge captain would be departing along with the rest of his management team of Steve Clark and Richard Bates.

After leading the Mile End Stadium outfit to their record points tally in the division, the 34-year-old admitted the time was right for the trio to move on.

But he was quick to pay tribute to his fellow bosses and players in the Essex Senior League. Uddin said: “I really do admire players and managers at that level who get success.

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“You are not playing on the best pitches, don’t have any money or very little and the fixtures come thick and fast.

“Any manager that does well and can keep a group of people together is doing an amazing job because you can’t really keep players by offering more money. You have to create an environment they like working in and we feel we did that this season.”

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It was a surprise when Sporting Bengal announced Uddin would be taking over as manager after Mamum Chowdhury stepped down last summer.

The former West Ham United youngster had huge experience of playing in the Football League and had been part of the coaching team at Maldon & Tiptree.

He went into the Mile End club with Clark and Bates and is pleased to have helped improve Sporting Bengal’s reputation with numerous rivals praising their work on social media.

“We have come to this level and been humble with everyone and polite to all the people associated with different clubs,” added Uddin.

“It is flattering to receive so much praise now and you think a year ago Sporting Bengal could only take eight players to certain games.

“I’ve said that’s disrespectful to the people in this division and the league itself. Our first priority was to change that and we have.”

Uddin isn’t sure yet what he and his management team will do next as they assess their options. The ex-Barnet ace has a full time job with the Football Supporters’ Federation as their Diversity and Campaigns manager.

That takes up a lot of his time, which is why Clark and Bates played such a crucial role behind the scenes at Bengal.

When Uddin hasn’t been able to attend matches during the course of the past season, Clark and Bates have taken the team and done a fine job.

Now they will see what offers come their way, although the former Sporting Bengal boss did reveal they’ve already turned one down due to the distance.

He added: “We are looking up, you need to be adventurous and positive in life, but at the same time I wouldn’t rule out managing at Essex Senior League level as you have some great clubs and people in the division.

“What we are looking at now is whether it is the right place for us to go and with the right people. My full time job is the priority, but we need a challenge that we can all buy into.

“As we all know, management can be very volatile. You put all your effort in and then you’re out of a job within six months. Me, Rich and ‘Clarky’ need to be happy and it has to be right for us.

“I enjoy what I do with the Football Supporters’ Federation and we are all fortunate enough to be in that position with our full time jobs so we will see what comes up and then decide what’s best.”

After the work they did last season at Sporting Bengal, it will not be long before Uddin, Clark and Bates are at another club.

The Mile End Stadium outfit are now looking to appoint a new manager for 2016/17, but Uddin did help set up Bengal’s academy so will still have some part to play at the club.

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