Sporting Chance

Meet Shehneela Ahmed the UK’s first female Asian football agent

Posted: 29.01.14

Negotiating is my passion
I work full-time as a criminal lawyer. It’s my job to get respect from hard-core criminals, if I can gain theirs, then I can do the same with the people who work in the football industry.

It’s a male dominated industry, so what?

Yes there are a lot of men in the football industry but if you gain their respect they will treat you as an equal. The trick is to know what you are talking about, if you know your stuff, no one can argue with you. So far I have networked with established managers, coaches and other scouts and they have all treated me with respect.

I’m currently completing my first transfer season
January is a busy month as it’s when football teams can buy and sell players and part of my role as an agent is to put forward talent and negotiate their contracts. I have some great players on my books so am excited about what will happen.

I’ll go anywhere to find talent

At evenings and weekends I attend football matches to scout for talent.  I speak to coaches and parents and try and spot the younger players who are showing promise. My job is to find out who is worth investing in, giving them the opportunity to develop their skills so they can become world-class players.

More Asians need to recognise sport as a respectable career

I was inspired by sport from a young age when I remember watching the London Marathon and thinking I can do that! I have since run three of them, cycle regularly and lead a healthy lifestyle. The trouble is although many Asians play football, they don’t know how to take it to the next level – they don’t have the contacts or access to advice so they give up. I hope to change this by talking to Asian parents, setting up roadshows and spreading the message that sport is a career that Asians can be part of it. Even in India they are beginning to take the options more seriously; a football academy has recently opened there to help youngsters become professional footballers.

There’s no reason why there can’t be more Asian football agents
Anyone can apply to be a football agent. Some people do it part-time or like me, they do it on top of their regular job. It’s hard to juggle both but I am passionate about the course, I may be the first female Asian Muslim football agent but I should not be the last. 

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