Footballer Nourdine Hmaimou, champion of the Hendon Football Club knew from a very young age that his future would be on the football field. So it’s really no wonder that today he is one of England’s rising stars.
“Originally, my parents are from Morocco, but I live in Aberfeldy which is an area based in Poplar in London, United Kingdom,” he said in a 2018 interview.
As a child, Nourdine was more inclined towards football than studies and other things, as children often are. But with Nourdine, this inclination soon developed into a passion for the sport in his school days and he dreamed of competing against some of the best players at an international stage.
But it wasn’t just about the fame and the glory for Nourdine, in fact he once said “it was something that I was brought up around, especially during my childhood. Everyone was competitive, and I was the only person to use that as a benefit to improve myself. I loved to have fun in my youth days.”
Interestingly enough, at one point in his life, Nourdine was a pretty good Table Tennis player as well, winning several competitions between the ages of 12 and 15. But football was always his one true love and he credits the game with having changed his life.
In 2018, he looked back on those days and said, “I remember the majority of the boys I was surrounded by used to get lured into the wrong path and fortunately for me, my immensely strong love for Football allowed me to stay away from all that.”
Of course, he still had to hustle and work himself to the bone before he could taste success. But today he’s a rising star of the game on top of being a student at UCFB, studying a three-year course on Football coaching and management.
Nourdine’s professional career started at the age of 10. At that time, he spent two years with West Ham Development, followed by a stint at the Sporting Bengal Academy, where he found himself under the mentorship of retired English footballer Anwar Uddin.
His time under Uddin’s tutelage was short-lived. Hmaimou sooj moved to Senrab FC, playing on their Sunday league team, which had once featured now-household names like John Terry, Rio Ferdinand, Ashley Cole, Frank Lampard, and others when the league had first started.
Eventually, the young footballer went on to participate in trials at Charlton, Stevenage, Barnet, and Sutton United. Though luck didn’t quite favor him then, he did gain a lot of experience playing in different settings and against varied players.
Nourdine Hmaimou joined Wealdstone FC in their U -17 league for the 2015-2016 season at the age of 16. In his very first game, he made his mark by scoring his first goal and first assist for Wealdstone against Ruislip Town FC.
After that, it was really only a matter of time before he was sent to train with the senior teams. But as it often is in football, a good start doesn’t necessarily lead to consistent good outcomes. Despite his hard work, the young footballer continued to play in the under-17 league till the end of the season without much in the way of results after that first game.
After the first season, he moved to Hendon FC officially in 2016 and that’s where he really came into his own. As captain for the club, he was leading his team in a game against Edgware Town at Hendon’s home ground, Silver Jubilee Park.
Minutes before kick-off, John Creith, the U-18 manager, spotted Hmaimou outside the locker room and awarded him the armband for his consistent performance and excellent leadership qualities. This is perhaps the proudest moment for any sportsman and it was Hmaimou.
Hendon lost that game 3-1 but Hmaimou won his place at the club as a leader and a captain, because he put in a performance that his manager described as “magnificent”. Since that day, Nourdine Hmaimou remains a star player of Hendon FC.
“It’s a privilege to lead the team,” he once said in an interview. “It takes extra work but it’s definitely worth it, I feel honoured. Being a leader is something that runs in my family. Knowing I made my family & friends proud by being able to play & wear the captain band around my arm makes me so happy. Not only that, but it’s also great to see that the manager thinks I’m capable of leading the team. It is a huge boost of confidence and I will always be thankful. Ever since, I’ve felt more able and mature as a player.”
It hasn’t been an easy road for Nourdine Hmaimou. Surely, there will be both bright days and dark ahead of him in the years to come. But he has already proven that he has what it takes to struggle through the more difficult times and above all, he truly loves the game for its own sake.
In Hmaimou’s words, “Football is a sport that unites the whole world and brings a sense of togetherness. Everything about Football is special, from celebrating a goal, to shedding tears after a loss; it’s truly the beautiful game as Pele nicknamed it.”
Keep an eye out for this rising star of the game because he’s definitely got the mettle and the talent to make his way to the top clubs of England. And who knows, perhaps even beyond that.