Nourdine Hmaimou was 12 when he was introduced to the world of Football. 7 Years later, he’s the center attacking midfielder of the club he idolized as a boy and still in love with the game of football…
Let’s begin with the start of your career when you made your debut in Sporting Bengal Academy. It all began for you at the age of 12 when you joined the West Ham Development…
“Yes. I was young like 10-12 when I had joined the West Ham Development as a Football player and then went on to play for Sporting Bengal Academy. My cousin who represented the Moroccan National team in the World Cup 2016, has always been my inspiration behind choosing Football as my ultimate career.
After that, I played for Senrab Football Club – the same Sunday league who gave the world brilliant players like John Terry, Rio Ferdinand, Ashley Cole, and Frank Lampard. At that time providing goals for my team was my passion. I liked to set up as many goals for them as possible. I was always a team player and enjoyed setting them up more than I did scoring myself.”
Then came the biggest break of your career, when Hendon Football Club recognized your talent and signed you up for their team…
“Right – but before that, I played for Wealdstone under17/18 team and Aberfeldy FC Sunday league. It was the following season when Hendon FC signed me up giving me the biggest break of my career. I got a chance to play in the FA Youth Cup as well. And even got training with the national under18 team.
How important is training compared to talent?
“I feel it’s 50-50. Training is indispensable to stay fit. You need to manage everything and work equally hard. Often on the field, you have to be better mentally than physically. You would have noticed all of my play is instinct. People call me ‘tactical thinker’.”
What was it like having to reinvent your playing style?
“I would have never imagined playing Center Forward my whole career as I didn’t think I had the attributes suited to it. Thankfully though, it went really well, I even got a chance to captain the team and I was the highest scorer in the Club. With Hendon, I am free to explore my talent, take the quick decision on the field and this is the exact position where I feel the best in my career.”
You have received appreciation from the top players in the industry. So, speaking of your popularity, how does it feel?
“It is an incredible feeling. Appreciation from Wayne Rooney and Pep Guardiola was huge for me, but their trust in me that I will make it big one day was enough to keep me grounded. Respect and Recognition are very important in the career of a footballer.”
What’s the best advice you have received in your career till now?
Work passionately, Show determination and respect to everyone.
One last question. How would you like to be remembered by opponents in your indefinite future?
“Well, that’s not for me to decide. I’ll leave it up to them. But in this ever-challenging profession sustainability is closely linked to recognition as well as avoiding complacency. Football is such an interesting game that there is always going to be a thirst for more. I’m never going to be satisfied with everything I’ve got. I will always seek more matches, enhance my techniques, and desire challenging opponents that push my abilities further.”
Looking beyond the immense popularity and young age of this talented and unruffled footballer, you will find Nourdine Hmaimou – An indisputable star holding the best cards.