Yusuff keen to kick on after first year as pro
PUBLISHED: 09:30 09 May 2015
Dave Simpson/TGSPHOTO c/o 27 Plaiters Way, Braintree, Essex, CM7 3LR - Editorial Use ONLY - FA Premier League and Football Leagu
Striker had injury-hit season with Daggers
Ade Yusuff hopes that he can put a frustrating debut campaign with Dagenham & Redbridge behind him as he looks to remain with the club next season.
The striker joined the League Two club from non-league Chatham last summer – having had a spelll with Ryman Premier Division outfit Hornchurch prior to that – and made national news after leaving his job with restaurant chain Wagamamas where he earned more money than with the Daggers.
Yusuff made 19 appearances in his first year with the Victoria Road club and netted twice, despite being beset by injuries.
But he is still certain he made the right choice to become a professional footballer.
“It’s something that I’ve always wanted to do and I’m happy I’m in this position now,” said the 20-year-old Yusuff.
“It’s down to me to really take on the opportunity I’ve been given and push forward with it.
“Maybe the season hasn’t gone as well as I would’ve liked it to have gone. If I can have a good pre-season next year, hopefully I can kick on.”
A different career path is not the only aspect of Yusuff’s life to change in the past 12 months as the youngster has become a father for the first time.
And while he admits it was hard at first to cope with the new found responsibility, he says his son brings him delight on a daily basis.
“It’s a hard one, but it’s something I’m enjoying taking in my stride. It probably affected me a bit more than I thought it would, but it’s something that has made me happy every day,” added Yusuff.
“I know I can go and see him when I want and he’s always around to make me happy. Whenever things aren’t going right I can go home to him, give him a cuddle and go again the next day.”
Yusuff is hopeful of extending his stay with Dagenham, despite his current deal expiring this summer.
The attacker is not alone in that regard, with many current first-team players still yet to negotiate deals to remain at Victoria Road, but manager Wayne Burnett says talks are ongoing.
Yusuff is confident that if the core of the squad can be kept together, the 2015/16 season could prove to be a successful one for Daggers.
“We have a very good team ethos and dynamic at the club. Everyone gets on; we’re all very much together,” he said.
“In that sense it’s good. You’ve got your mentors, the people like Jamie Cureton, at the club who’ve been there and done it. Especially for myself as a striker, he does give a lot of advice.
“When you’ve got someone like that you can always learn something every day from them. If we keep the main core of the team together, we have a really good chance to push on and do something better than what we’ve done this season.”
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