Former Queens Park Rangers man Zesh Rehman backs physio's entry into Samsung's Win a Pro Contract competition with Leyton Orient and Swindon Town
10:40am Friday 15th June 2012 in Orient News
Entries are still being accepted for Samsung’s Win a Pro Contract competition as hopefuls look to earn themselves their dream job.
Two professional contracts are up for grabs for two lucky amateur footballers, one with Russell Slade’s Leyton Orient and one with League Two champions Swindon Town.
One of those chasing the dream is Walthamstow’s Zubair Haleem, whose entry has received the backing of one of those already in the game.
Former Fulham and Queens Park Rangers defender Zesh Rehman, a British-Pakistani, is supporting Haleem’s bid to reach the professional ranks.
Rehman is currently plying his trade in Hong Kong, recently helping his side Kitchee win an historic treble, but has also founded the Zesh Rehman Foundation, a group which works at grassroots level to provide opportunities for young people and thrives to see a better representation of British Asians at all levels of the game.
And the former Bradford City skipper threw his weight behind Haleem’s entry.
“Samsung’s Win a Pro Contract competition is a great initiative. It is a great opportunity for somebody to fulfil a dream they thought was impossible,” he explained.
“I would like to wish Zubair the best of luck in the competition. Hopefully this year the competition will find an Asian gem of a player.”
Haleem was once a youth team player at League Two side Barnet and in 2010 won ‘UK’s Best Asian Player’.
He is now a physio with the Charlton Athletic Academy but has also worked as a freestyle footballer with both Adidas and Burton Menswear.
And the 23-year-old was thrilled to receive Rehman’s support for his quest to earn a professional contract.
He enthused: “The Asian community is under-represented in professional football. It’s a shame as there is a lot of talent out there.
“The Samsung Win a Pro Contract competition offers a break to young people. To play football professionally would be a dream for me. I will give it my best shot and encourage others to do the same.
“It was amazing to get Zesh’s support and he’s a great example of what’s possible.”
The competition will see participants take part in skills trials, five-a-side and 11-a-side matches before Slade and Robins boss Paolo Di Canio each pick a new recruit for their League One squads.
To register for Win a Pro Contract, visit facebook.com/samsungfootball before Friday August 31.