Deen hopes for return to City squad

PUBLISHED: 16:32 03 April 2008 | UPDATED: 13:08 06 May 2010

Hasim Deen on the ball for Saints

Hasim Deen on the ball for Saints

HASIM Deen is hoping to boost the St Albans City survival bid with a return to the squad for the trip to Welling United on Saturday. The versatile defensive player was a star performer in the early months of the campaign

Hasim with his son Abdul Aziz

HASIM Deen is hoping to boost the St Albans City survival bid with a return to the squad for the trip to Welling United on Saturday.

The versatile defensive player was a star performer in the early months of the campaign before his progress on the pitch was disrupted by off the field events. In January, Hasim saw his son Abdul Aziz born two months prematurely and he weighed just 1.3kg. Hasim said: "I felt over the moon to be a dad and that was one of the best moments in my life. Because he was born premature, we could not leave the hospital for seven weeks and my wife was not feeling well. I was not attending training as usual, just turning up for matches and this was not easy for me but I had to go through it."

Hasim, aged 25, was born in the Gambia, in West Africa, and credits his father for training him to play football, particularly with his renowned giant leaps which he practised jumping onto the top of barrels. Hasim said: "I named Abdul Aziz after my dad, who inspired and trained me to play football."

Abdul Aziz now weighs 4.2kg and is growing in strength, allowing Hasim to focus on helping The Saints continue their rapid rise up the table.

The powerful defender/midfielder joined City from Stevenage Borough in the summer and his performances this season, mostly at centre back and latterly at right back or in midfield, have earned rave reviews from supporters. Hasim said: "I feel good to hear from some of the fans tipping me as one of the favourites for Player of the Season but it would have been better if we were winning the league or in the play offs."

Five wins and a draw from six games have lifted the gloom around Clarence Park after a disappointing campaign which saw Hanlon and his replacement Dave Anderson both sacked. Saints have regrouped under Steve Castle, now the Blue Square South Manager of the Month for March, and Hasim is confident the team will continue their impressive form. He said: "I am not surprised with our form recently because we have good players and have been really unlucky not to get results in our favour earlier. One has to give the manager Steve Castle credit for bringing in a few players that have strengthened the squad and for bringing confidence into the dressing room. Paul Bruce is a vital player for us and I think Paul Hakim and Sunday can play at a higher level."

Saints are without centre back Ryan Frater on Saturday at Welling United due to suspension and Hasim said: "Losing Ryan Frater is a big loss for the team because he has formed a good partnership with big Ben Martin. I am feeling much better now and I would like to be involved.

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