Rayhan Noor becomes West Ham Women U18s assistant; Ruudy Yusuf to take over at FA Women’s National League Hounslow, becoming the only manager from a British South Asian background in the top four divisions of men’s or women’s game; Nadia Khan scores four and enters Pakistan record books
East Londoner Rayhan Noor has landed a new role with West Ham’s WSL academy
Rayhan Noor has taken up the role of West Ham Women U18s assistant manager and is expected in the dugout for Sunday’s trip to play the London City Lionesses Development side.
East Londoner Noor is part of a highly-rated group of aspiring coaches from diverse ethnic backgrounds working across West Ham United – with fellow South Asian heritage coach Mo Ali also making big strides working at the club’s famous ‘Academy of Football’ under the tutelage of academy director Ricky Martin and his assistant Kalam Mooniaruck.
Former club striker Carlton Cole also coaches at the academy, while long-serving UEFA A Licence coach Stephen Opoka is in charge of the women’s U21 side, and is the only Women’s Super League academy manager from a diverse ethnic background.
British-Bangladeshi Noor is expected to get opportunities this season to work alongside Opoka and the U21 squad, which feeds directly into West Ham’s WSL first-team.
Stephen Opoka is West Ham’s WSL academy manager
The 23-year-old, who is from the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, is a UEFA B Licence candidate and holds an FA Level 2 talent identification qualification.
Noor spent a season working with the U14s under Nick Crickmar and Taylor Gillings, and was asked to stay on the following year to work with Dominic Edwards and the U16s team. He reunites with Gillings who manages the U18s.
Yusuf set for managerial return
Hounslow Women are set to appoint Ruudy Yusuf in a move that will see the East Londoner become the only British South Asian heritage manager in the top four divisions of either the men’s or women’s game.
Yusuf – who previously worked under Jamie O’Hara and recently-appointed West Ham Women’s manager Paul Konchesky at Billericay Town – parted company with Harlow Town earlier this month after a year in charge at the Essex club.
Sky Sports News understands former Harlow Town Ladies coaches Junior Ndigwe Kings and Ethan Barr will join Yusuf at Hounslow.
Hounslow are away in a Division 1 South East clash at Wymondham Town this weekend.
Nadia Khan enters Pakistan record books
Doncaster Rovers Belles star Nadia Khan returns home a record-breaker
Doncaster Rovers Belles star Nadia Khan has written her name into folklore after becoming the first Pakistan Women’s player ever to score four goals in an international match.
Khan scored all four goals in the second half, before chipping in with an injury-time assist in Pakistan’s 7-0 South Asian Football Federation Championship (SAFF) win over The Maldives in Nepal.
Sky Sports News revealed at the end of last month that Khan’s paperwork had been completed, allowing the Rovers Belles attacker to fly to Kathmandu to link up with her new Pakistan team-mates, who were returning to international action after eight years.
Khan, who qualifies to play for Pakistan through her parents’ heritage, became one of the first British-Pakistani women ever to play for the national team when she made her SAFF debut in the opening game loss to India.
Khan shot to prominence when she scored a 45-yard screamer – labelled as an early contender for the FIFA Puskas best goal award – for Rovers Belles against Solihull Moors on the final day of last season.
The 21-year-old is a former Leeds United Girls’ Centre of Excellence player, who has been playing for Rovers Belles since 2018.
Football unites behind local Blackburn side
Blackburn Rovers joined hands with the Sky Sports and Sporting Equals partnership and Watford on Tuesday night to stand in solidarity with local side Euro Garages FC.
Euro Garages FC players were targeted by members of the opposition in a local Blackburn league game last month, with disturbing images from the match caught on CCTV and circulated widely on social media.
Sky Sports News’ British South Asians in Football lead Dev Trehan contacted Blackburn Rovers integration and development manager Yasir Sufi after the incident to express concern, with the pair determined to try and offer some support to Euro Garages FC after the traumatic episode.
They decided to plan a get-together at Ewood Park for Tuesday’s visit of Watford, giving everybody the opportunity to meet in person, share experiences and learn from one another.
Watford’s head of equality, diversity and inclusion, Dave Messenger, and Alan Lau – founder of fans’ group ESEA Hornets – also lent their support in a game which finshed 2-0 to the home side.
Euro Garages FC manager Mohammed Hansrot said: “It was a really good experience and a great example of unity. It was an amazing gesture, particularly when nobody had to do anything. To recognise what has happened and give us the opportunity to come together like this is great.”
Blackburn’s Sufi said: “It’s been a phenomenal day, which has seen all of us come together to make a difference. The hope is that this can be the start of many more positive things to come. When we work together, we win together.”
ESEA Hornets founder Lau added: “I felt it was important for me to be here to represent Watford and stand in solidarity with fellow Asians in the game.”
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