Essex Senior League’s Sporting Bengal United aim to be positive in FA Cup clash with Ipswich Wanderers - Imrul Gazi’s first competitive match as manager

Sporting Bengal United manager Imrul Gazi talks to his coaching team during summer training. Pic: Al

Sporting Bengal United manager Imrul Gazi talks to his coaching team during summer training. Pic: Alam Zaman. - Credit: Archant

East Londoners looked forward to proving people wrong this season and have done their research on Eastern Counties Premier Division outfit

Imrul Gazi is trying to focus on his Sporting Bengal United team ahead of their FA Cup extra preliminary round tie at home to Ipswich Wanderers tomorrow (Sunday).

The Eastern Counties League Premier Division outfit make the trip to London, but not to play at Bengal’s traditional Mile End Stadium home.

Gazi’s first official match in charge of the east Londoners is taking place at Wadham Lodge’s ground in Walthamstow.

This is due to Bengal’s home not being ready for football just yet but despite the match not being at Mile End, the new man in charge is still excited.


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Gazi hasn’t been able to watch Ipswich, but has done his homework on Wanderers and is prepared for what is to come.

He said: “I’ve done a bit of research on them and I know they struggled last year and only just finished a few places above the relegation zone.

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“They stayed up, but have a new manager now in Shane Wardley, he’s a former player and was involved when they reached the fifth round of the FA Vase last season.

“I expect them to be well organised and a big side, especially compared to us, so we will have to combat that. My focus is on my own team and what we can do.

“We need to be on the front foot to maximise our strengths. We will go in blind, but we are looking to prove people wrong and hopefully we can get a positive result.”

Bengal’s FA Cup tie kicks-off at 3pm on Sunday at Wadham Lodge’s Stadium (E17 4JP).

Gazi admits it is a dream come true to manage a team in the famous, old competition and can’t wait for the tie.

He believes people are writing the east Londoners off already, but is determined to prove them wrong.

“I’m living the dream, I’m a northern lad originally and always dreamed of this and always kept an eye on Sporting Bengal,” said Gazi.

“Obviously I played for them a few years ago, but I’ll be 42 this year and to be manager of a club in the FA Cup is a dream come true. I’m really excited.

“I’ve got aims for the season, but I’m going to take it game by game and see how we do. Already I know people are writing me and the team off, but I’m feeling good and confident we can do well.”

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