Judan Alis Indian Under 15s Win Arsenal Soccer International
Judan Ali was born in London’s East End and has seen life through different eyes to many other first generation Britsh-Born Asians, he battled against the cultural barriers that were placed by his mother whom arrived to the UK in the late 60s.
At the age of 5 after his mother bought him a brightly coloured ball it soon became apparent that his skills were blossoming in the areas of football.
He was keen to excel in football as his chosen path, but one major set back was the common lack of support from the cultural side where his mother wanted him to study and academically succeed. Ali began playing as much football as he could during what free time he could get.
With football, he encountered few opportunities to demonstrate his talents to those that mattered in the professional sport. Only were Ali to know how difficult it would be to endure the disappointments that came along with it, he would certainly have concentrated on his academia a little more.
With a Spell at Arsenal Football Club and playing alongside Ray Parlour and Paul Merson, Ali went on trials at over 32 professional football clubs across Britain. He was faced with many knock backs that made him more determined to succeed as he dedicated his early years trying to establish himself a s a footballer.
As a teenager, Ali demonstrated his eye as a football manager by recruiting players from East London and entering them into the infamous U.K. Police Tournament. without any financial support he took his under 12s team through the early rounds beating every team that faced this passionate group of British Asian youngsters from a council estate in East London. In the final, Ali bought 10 plain white T-Shirts and wrote on them the numbers in a permanent Black marker pen.
After Ali’s team won the final, the local sponsor of motor car firm “Saab City” was so impressed that he volunteered to provide Ali with a minibus and funding.
After realising that to make it as a professional in the English league was proving impossible, Ali went into the lower regions of the Spanish Football league playing football in a local town called Murcia.
In 2005 Ali got the call from Bollywood to work on the movie Dhan Dha Na Dhan Goal (2007 release).
His primary role was to research, cast and choreograph, however the Director had other things in store and asked Ali to feature in the starting eleven of the film directed by Vivek Agnihotri and starring John Abraham (playing Judans role) Bipasha Basu and Arshad Warsi.
Dhan Dhana Dhan ..Goal focuses on Ali’s personal experiences of prejudice towards his South Asian appearance as he attempted to make it as a professional footballer in the UK which has presented obstacles to first generation British Born Asians ever since.
He is so determined and has always believed in himself to the point that he wanted to prove anyone that doubted him making it as a professional footballer in England wrong by competing in Sky Ones “Premier League Allstars” hosted by Ian Wright and Helen Chamberlain.
Ali played alongside Ruud Gullit, Roberto De Matteo, Kerry Dixon who are in their own right world cup players and legends.
Ali features regularly in raising awareness of charities by supporting them through playing football matches internationally in under – developed countries, as he feels very strongly about helping those with few opportunities to make a success through football.
In 2011 a project where a handful of fully qualified football coaches including himself were to venture into unknown territories in India to hold trials where a total of 20,000 under 15 year olds applied to compete for 16 places to represent India at the Arsenal International Tournament.
After Ali’s Indian young hopefuls losing 1 – 0 to an English Club from Manchester, Ali engaged into an emotional conversation with all the players demonstrating that he wished he had the chance to play in such a prestigious tournament and that all the Indian youngsters in India would give anything to be in their places. This was just the beginning to then go on and improve game by game being the outsiders of the 64 countries that entered. India grew with confidence qualifying as best runner up beating a team from the Dutch Professional league 3 – 0.
In the quarter finals beating another team from England 2 – 1, then the Semi-Final where a masterstroke from Ali’s pre-team talk which consisted in asking all the players who they look up to in world football were with this in mind he was confident that he would use this later when they reached the final. They proceeded to the final comfortably beating the USA.
Ali’s pre – team talk in the final was a master class whereby he brought up the discussion he had previously had with the players about who their idols were and told them, “don’t think of the opposition and what they look like, none of your idols ever did that. Messi, Maradona, Ronaldo and Lampard never did care how big the opposition were, so go and be those players and play like them!” They rose to the challenge beating club seeded number one in the tournament from Chelsea, West London 1 – 0.
Against all odds it was an amazing achievement from his Indian team being outsiders to winners.
Ali is determined that he can make it as a future Premier League Manager, despite having a few clubs like Blackburn Rovers F.C. interested in his service and the secret to his recent success, but currently Ali feels that he wants to take on a new challenge such as taking a country outside the top 50 in the world of the F.I.F.A. Rankings to a world cup.
If Ali can search develop and motivate a team of unknowns that have never ventured out of their village let alone get on a plane in such a short space of time to come over to the UK and become world beaters, then what is preventing Ali from doing the same with any football team regardless of ability or world ranking?
Over Ali’s career, he has formed great relationships with footballers and coaches and in an age where footballers are commanding such huge amounts of salaries, keeping these footballers interested, motivated and wanting to play for Ali and the love of football is certainly one of his strengths.
With his diverse life and career so far, the sky is the limit. Ali is on track to become the first South Asian Premier League Manager but first wants to concentrate on his coaches qualifications and is exploring the possibility of re-visiting India with former Chelsea legend and Dutch star Striker Jimmy Floyd Hasslebaink who also shares the same belief and passion that Ali does in bringing to a top European Football Club Indian footballers.