A footballer whose career was cut short due to a knee injury says he wants to inspire the next generation of players.

Hafizul Rahman has joined the FA Sports Management which also boasts Darren Finch, a coach with over 30 years experience with a UEFA A Licence and David Hobson founder of the Professional Football Scouts Association as its members.

The organisation is headed by Arif Barber a registered agent and a qualified football scout.

Hafizul, 21, has more than 14 years of experience playing football with professional clubs.

Aged 6, he spent a year each at the pre-academy teams with Manchester United and Blackburn Rovers. 

He said: “I started playing when I was really young and have been through the academy structure and process.

“Whilst I was there I did notice there were very few Asians playing at this level. I was the only one for a number of years.

“It is something that really needs to change and we need to be promoting more talent from within the community.

“People are not actually aware of the processes involved and this can hold footballers back.”

Hafizul later joined Preston North End where he spent 11 years. 

Asian Image:

Arif Barber and Darren Finch of FA Sports Management

He even had the opportunity represent Bangladesh in the World Cup Qualifiers, but due to recurring symptoms of his knee injury the year prior, he decided it was time to take a break from playing. 

He said: “It was tough dealing with the injury as I had been through the whole academy structure. Playing football as was all I wanted to do.

“I decided then to make sure I was involved with football in one way or another.”

Since then, Hafizul has achieved his UEFA C coaching qualification with the PFA (Professional Footballers Association), along with his Talent ID level 2 from the PFSA (Professional Football Scouts Association). 

He said: “Our aim is to get players into clubs if they are good enough. Of course this is not easy but there are opportunities there for talent.

“Recently, we have been both to Senegal and Indian scouting players.”

To find out more about the FA Sports Management see www.fasports.co.uk