Sutton sign ex-Daggers skipper Uddin

Familiar face: Sutton new boy Anwar Uddin, right, looks on as Craig Dundas tussles with the Barnet defence in a pre-season friendly last year

Familiar face: Sutton new boy Anwar Uddin, right, looks on as Craig Dundas tussles with the Barnet defence in a pre-season friendly last year

First published in Sport Your Local Guardian: Photograph of the Author by , Sports editor

New Sutton United defender Anwar Uddin has revealed the club's plans for the future were behind his decision to switch to Gander Green Lan.

The former Dagenham & Redbridge skipper put pen to paper on an 18-month deal on Friday having been released from his contract at League Two Barnet.

Boss Paul Doswell revelaed last week that the club would be switching training times to morning sessions next season to bring Sutton in line with professional League and non-League outfits.

Uddin, who knows United assistant Alan Payne from his time with the Daggers, featured in Barnet's pre-season friendly with Sutton in the summer and was impressed enough to make the move.'

"I was impressed by Sutton in that game, and they seemed a good bunch of lads," said the 30-year-old.

"I know Alan Payne, and everyone I've spoken to has only got good things to say about him and Paul, and how professional the set up is.

"I hear stories from some people about some things at non-league clubs not being as professional as the background I've come from, but the training facilities Sutton have got are unbelievable.

"Paul's looking to do something and move the club forward, and I'm delighted to be involved in something like that and looking forward to getting back playing again."

Anwar began his career as a junior with West Ham United - featuring in their 1999 FA Youth Cup winning squad and captaining their reserves - before making his professional debut with Bristol Rovers.

He joined Dagenham in 2004 and made around 200 appearances in a six year stay in est London, captaining the side that won promotion from the Conference and then triumphed in the League Two play-off at Wembley two seasons ago.

He joined Barnet at the start of last season, and was briefly caretaker assistant manager to Giuliano Grazioli after the departure of Martin Allen and Doswell was delighted to land his man thanks to a tip-off from former striker Steve Watts.

''We got a phone call from Steve telling us that Anwar was having his contract paid up at Barnet, and Alan Payne knows him from his time at Dagenham, so we were very keen to get him," he added.

"We haven't had a real leader since Jason Goodliffe retired, and he will add an important presence in the dressing room and on the pitch.

"He's signed a contract for this season and next, and is very enthused about what we're trying to do and the new morning training routine next season. He will be a real asset."

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