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Sajid Ali Mahmood is new director of football at Redditch United

Redditch United Duane Darby

Sajid Ali Mahmood is looking forward to unearthing new talent for Duane Darby as director of football at BetVictor Southern League Redditch United.

Mahmood will work alongside Darby and his management team after being handed responsibility for player recruitment, player development and playing strategy by the Reds this week to ensure the “first team competes at the highest possible level”.

Former Doncaster Rovers, Hull City, Notts County and Torquay United striker Darby succeeded Ian King at the Trico Stadium, pictured, at the end of November.

Mahmood – who’s worked with a number of other clubs at Step 3 and higher as a football consultant and scout – has a proven record of bringing through excellent players.

According to club statement, he will also take ownership for supporter liaison and fundraising to support the first team and its development.

Redditch United chairman Chris Swan is looking forward to Mahmood working exclusively for the Southern L:eague Premier Central Division club.

Swan said: “Recruitment of players is the most important part of first-team success. With recent Southern League re-organisation of teams in our league, we have six teams who are within a 30-mile radius of us who have traditional support of 400 more supporters to a home game.

“This extra income gives them the ability to buy success. Ours has to be earned and as we’ve shown over the last successive seasons we can do it and compete with our well-connected management.

“Also, we need to be much better on supporter engagement and fundraising amongst our many stakeholders and this is a very important part of the role. Ali is the first step of a solid foundation for the future.”

Mahmood said: “I am extremely excited about this opportunity and look forward to working with first-team management, supporters and other stakeholders at Redditch United.

“I have started to form an excellent relationship with Duane Darby, who I respect greatly. The challenge for the rest of the season is tough but I believe as a competitor it can be done. Duane and I have passion and competitiveness and it will feature in everything we do.”

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As well as exclusive match reports and pictures from all of Saturday’s fixtures in the Vanarama National League, the BetVictor-Sponsored Isthmian League, Southern League and Northern Premier League, the paper’s live coverage extends all the way to Steps 5 and 6.

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