On 20th July 2019 AFC Wembley Coach Hanad was awarded Brent Young Volunteer of The Year.
Coach Hanad who was originally an AFC Wembley youth team player is now an official AFC Wembley Coach assisting with the current U13s team. We sat down with him to talk about his experiences
How was it for you growing up?
I was born in Somalia, came over here as a refugee, only knew a little bit of English, there was a lot of barriers. I started going to school and getting involved in football that’s when I came across AFC Wembley. I came to this country and moved straight to Church Road (NW10). I thought England would be this thing they showed on TV. I came to Church Road I saw the real life. I saw drug dealing, shootings, stabbings and other stuff and instantly thought this isn’t the England I saw on TV. But there are good people in the community showing the right way to live, the right road to travel on and lucky enough I met those people.
What did football mean to you growing up?
It meant a lot. Everything I’ve achieved and do now is because of football. I have a lot of football qualifications and I’m trying to get much more and get better at my craft. So football means a lot to me because it keeps me going.
What does it mean to you to give back to the community?
A lot of young kids don’t know that football can change their lives and football can take them somewhere. There are a lot of opportunities behind the scenes, and if I can find a way to explain that if you don’t make it as a pro footballer you can make it in the industry in another area that’s what thing I’m trying to teach.
How much did it mean to you to be awarded Brent Young Volunteer of the Year?
It felt good to get recognised, it felt good to be appreciated. I’d like to thank Connect Stars for putting me forward, they’ve seen the work I’ve done from a young age and what volunteers have taught me, however I just feel like there should be more opportunities for young people who do volunteer
What’s your journey leading to where do you see yourself?
I’d like to be a professional football coach. I’d like to get much qualifications as possible, start at Semi-pro and work my way up.