Dag­gers new-boy still works at Waga­mama

The Football League Paper - - INSIDE - By Matthew Bad­cock

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.”

PIC­TURES: Michael Hulf

NOT GIV­ING UP THE DAY JOB: Ade Yus­suf hard at work at Waga­mama on Fri­day. In­set, show­ing off his new club colours

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