Tower Hamlets are living by a philosophy of developing youngsters into professionals
- Credit: Archant
Keeping youngsters off the street and developing them into professional footballers is at the heart of the club’s philosophy says Tower Hamlets co-chairman Jamil Nadmi.
The Mile End Stadium outfit currently sit 15th in the Essex Senior League table but do boast the youngest average age team across the division and are slowly improving.
They suffered a narrow 2-1 defeat to one of the title favourites in Hashtag United at the weekend having lost 6-0 to the same opposition earlier in the campaign.
"For me, what I've always been searching for is the correct platform to help support young people get into professional football," said Nadmi.
"A lot of boys when they get to 16 to 20, all I hear from professional clubs is that you need to go play men's football, you need to go get experience and the same kind of statements across the board.
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"I have been searching for the best way to help these young people into football and co-chairman Nurul Hoque has given me the opportunity to work with him through our long lasting relationship and him knowing how good I am, without being arrogant.
"Our philosophy now is how we bridge the gap of young people from school and Sunday league into step five semi-professional football as it's a big jump.
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"Where we are in the league is where we should be for the players we play, but anyone that watches us will say you shouldn't be in this kind of position.
"We will accept where we are as we don't have a budget to pay players, we don't have the players with experience to win games in certain scenarios, but what we are doing is giving the opportunity of a lifetime for these young kids to get minutes and experience."
Nadmi joined Hamlets only a year and a half ago after a 15-year-long affinity with the game and an understanding of the backdrop to the team from his own time in the prison system.
"My perspective is what defines winning because my winning, your winning, and the team that is top of the leagues winning are probably all different," he added.
"My winning is to take these young people off the streets to start off with, away from crime and vulnerability, as I was a young person and I made a handful of mistakes. Some of them I regret and some of them made me the man I am today.
"I've gone to jail, I've come out and now I'm directing these young people away from crime and into something they love doing.
"The next stage is how can we get them to develop, of course you want to win games as it breeds confidence and a winning mentality, of course if we could win every game at the same time as developing these boys, then that's the ultimate dream."