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The unique journey of Sporting Bengal United

When scanning over the Non-League tables on a Sunday morning, Sporting Bengal United are a team that often catch the eye.

The East London club, who are currently sitting proudly near the top of the Essex Senior league, have been on a unique journey, which has seen the inclusive nature of Non-League football blend with the club’s ethos of aiming to overcome the under representation of young Asian players within British football.

After their foundation in 1996, the club began life in local Asian Leagues before moving into the London Intermediate League on the back of a hugely successful three years.

Following a tour of Bangladesh, where they only narrowly lost in a match against the country’s national team, Sporting Bengal were granted senior status by the London Football Association in 2003.

Sporting’s current manager, Imrul Gazi, who took over from former Dagenham & Redbridge captain Anwar Uddin in 2016, told The NLP, “We have a really interesting past, which not a lot of people know about.

“The club is essentially run by a larger organization called the Bangladeshi Football Association, who also operate an increasingly popular summer league.

“The summer league runs within the Tower Hamlets area and now has about 40 teams playing in it.

“The best players from the league are then given the opportunity to play for Sporting Bengal United.

“Due to this, the team is able to represent the multi-cultural nature of East London. We have Bangladeshi players but we also have players from many other different nationalities”.

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