IT was confirmed recently that former Thackley coach Rizwan Mohammed would join Albion Sports as their new manager, accompanied by his new assistant Aran Basi.
They replaced joint bosses Ishy Hussain and Danny Brown, who left following nine consecutive league defeats at the club.
Since Mohammed and Basi entered the fray, Albion have gone from strength to strength, winning their last three fixtures, while also pushing themselves closer to safety.
Basi is of course well known in the Non League circles and has had several spells with Albion already, but the defender is taking his first plunge into coaching and is delighted with the early stages of his tenure.
He said: “I’m really pleased that I’ve got this role. As soon as me and Rizzy (Mohammed) had the chance to chat with the Albion chairman, we wanted to try and sell ourselves in the best possible light.
“I’ve played for Albion most of my life and Rizzy also played in the first ever junior team at the club, so we know what the club is about and we also know how to put our ideas across.
“I do think my relationship with the club helped me to get the role, it certainly gave me the upper hand. I’m just delighted to get the role and start on my coaching journey.”
Basi has been out nursing an injury for the past 13 weeks now, and he admitted that the absence of the game perhaps drove him into making an early venture into coaching.
He said: “I’ve been out injured for a long time now and I’ll be honest with you, coaching never really crossed my mind at this time because I’m only 28 years old. That’s still young for a centre-half and I do believe I can continue playing for a while.
“Looking ahead to the future, yes it is always something that I intended to go into further down the line, but not whilst I was playing. The injury has perhaps given me the option to enter coaching earlier, and it has actually given me a fast track into the role.
“Riz is UEFA-B licensed and is going for his UEFA-A license next year, so he’s obviously going to be the main man when it comes to the coaching side of things.
“I don’t have any qualifications just yet, but because I’ve been handed this opportunity, it will allow me to work on the job and start working towards my coaching badges. I’ll be there as a helping hand for the time being.”
As a player/coach for Albion, Basi will have the role of coaching the side, and also playing with those same individuals, but he admitted that he has enough experience of being a leader throughout his time in the Non-League game.
He said: “It’s a good point, but I don’t think the feeling of coaching and playing with the same team will differ too much.
“The Non-League teams around Bradford including Eccleshill, Albion and Thackley- they have a lot of local lads.
“So, you end up knowing a lot of the lads who you play with or play against, especially from the Sunday league days. Working alongside them, I don’t think it will be much different because throughout my time I’ve been a captain.
“Those skills that you use as a captain can be easily transferred into a coaching situation, especially those that involve leadership and communication. So, I think the transition will be smooth.”
Basi added: “I’m also close with Riz and share a lot of the same ideas as him. He’s only been at the club for three matches and you can already see a huge difference.
“Obviously, the results have improved , which is huge- especially given the situation Albion found themselves in before we arrived.
“But not only that, you can visibly see the great work that is being done on the training field. There is a great structure, intensity and will to perform to the max from all the players in training.
“And Riz’s style of coaching is perfect for the players, and we all buy into it.”
Albion will be hoping to make it four wins on the bounce this weekend as they travel to high-flying Garforth Town.
A mouth watering tie awaits, with both sides desperate for a victory. Perhaps Albion would have been clear underdogs before the new regime unfolded, however the confidence is high within the squad and Mohammed and Basi will want to continue their fine start to life in the dugout. The third placed side welcome Albion (Sat: 3 PM).