Bengal boss wants to ‘galvanise community’

Anwar Uddin in action for Dagenham & Redbridge during his playing days (pic: Joseph Toth/TGSPHOTO).

Anwar Uddin in action for Dagenham & Redbridge during his playing days (pic: Joseph Toth/TGSPHOTO). - Credit: Joseph Toth/TGSPHOTO

Former Dagenham & Redbridge captain gives his views on the FA Cup and FA Vase draw

Sporting Bengal United manager Anwar Uddin would love to see a team from the Essex Senior League do well in the FA Cup this season.

The draw for the oldest association football competition in the world was made last Friday and the Mile End Stadium club discovered they would travel to league rivals Basildon United on August 15 for their extra preliminary round clash.

Although Uddin would love to see Bengal progress, he also admitted it would be brilliant to see the league get positive coverage if one of its club did well.

“It is nice to be playing Basildon and it is just great to be involved in the FA Cup,” said the Bengal boss.

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“At the start of my career with West Ham I thought the FA Cup started in January and towards the end of my career with Dagenham I thought it was November and now I am starting out as a manager it starts in August for me.

“This is the magic of the FA Cup and I think it is so important for clubs like us.

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“It would be great if a team from our league has a good run, hopefully us, but if anyone can get a good run it would be great for the league. I am really looking forward to it.”

The draw for the first qualifying round of the FA Vase was also made on Friday and Bengal will host another league rival in that competition.

Burnham Ramblers, recently relegated from the Ryman North, will be coming to the Mile End Stadium on September 5 for that fixture.

The winner of that tie could pocket £600 in prize money, while if Bengal defeat Basildon in the FA Cup they could earn themselves £1,500.

But their manager believes a good cup run can do a lot more than just bring extra money into the club.

Uddin added: “A lot of the cup draws have been made and we are away for basically all of them. We are at home to Burnham in the Vase, but it would be nice to have a few more home games!

“At the lower end of the pyramid the cup competitions are where you can get a plum draw, do well and really galvanise the community and that is what I would like to do with Sporting Bengal.”

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