ADE HAS WAIT-ED FOR BIG BREAK!
Daggers new-boy still works at Wagamama
ADE YUSUFF is ready to serve up the goods for Dagenham & Redbridge in the Football League – even though he’s still working his notice as a waiter!
The Daggers new striker made his League debut from the bench against Cambridge United last weekend just hours after a shift at Wagamama in Bluewater shopping centre.
And the 20-year-old, signed from Non-League Chatham, will be putting in three more shifts – including today – before quitting his full-time job and dedicating everything to his football dream.
“I’ve been working full-time in Wagamama for the last five months,” Yusuff told The Football League Paper. “I have to thank them because they gave me the chance to earn some money to be more financially independent and help out my parents.
“I didn’t actually know you didn’t have to work your notice. In my mind I had to go in finish it off and then I would be free to play football.
“I can’t just give it up. They gave me an opportunity to work; I don’t want to put them in trouble by being a man down. It’s the same principles as football.”
Yusuff caught the eye of Daggers boss Wayne Burnett after scoring 24 goals for the Ryman Division One North Chats.
This season he’s already found the net seven times and, after impressing in a week’s trial, Burnett pounced.
“I’ve worked so hard on my game,” he said. “I’ve been out running the pavements, going from area to area, back and forth. I’d even work in my room at home – everywhere.
“I knew if I kept working hard I would get an opportunity. Now I have, I don’t want to let it slip. I’ll be staying after training to do extra. Sometimes I work from 11am until midnight and I get home at 1am. For training I’m there from 9.30am until 1pm, so I want to stay on longer. I’ll never complain because I know how hard normal work can be.”
Having completed his scholarship at Stevenage, Yusuff bounced around the Non-League circuit at the likes of St Neots, Banbury, AFC Hornchurch and Aveley. It was under boss Kevin Watson at Chatham that things finally took off.
“I always showed little glimpses of what I could do but it was at Chatham that the manager really let me go out there and express
myself,” he said.
“Now the Dagenham gaffer has shown faith and confidence in me. I’ve worked for this chance and hopefully I can keep going and push for a starting place.
“Dagenham are known for bringing players through, especially strikers, and I can look to them for inspiration.
“I’ve got so much to learn. I’m still very raw but Dagenham have seen potential in me and hopefully I can become a better player. That’s what I’m going to try and do every time I go out to train or play.”
NOT GIVING UP THE DAY JOB: Ade Yussuf hard at work at Wagamama on Friday. Inset, showing off his new club colours