Under The Radar FC midfielder Sam Obaseki reveals the secret to the success of UTR both on and off the pitch.
In this sit down, he discusses the UTR culture and mindset and the expectations of the club moving forward amidst the COVID-19 circumstances.
UTR have quickly developed into one of the biggest and most popular YouTube teams in the country. The ability to build a successful team is most certainly helped by familiar faces such as Manny, TobJizzle and Yung Filly who all play for the club, as well as well as good football they play. However, one factor, often never considered is the culture otherwise known as the ‘vibes’.
This positive energy within UTR is what allows the club to fully succeed, as it provides a platform for good football to be played and it is this essential intangible of the club that Sam highlights.
“I watch all of the YouTube teams and I like all their vibes, but I feel like UTR are very similar and familiar with me because of their energy, I just knew it would be a good environment to be around”.
That ability to attract players largely due to their feel-good factor is one not many clubs can boast of and credit must be given to the management for being able to cultivate such an environment even with the pressure of having to win every game in every competition.
“Manny and the guys deserve tremendous credit, as they have been able to create a team of good ballers but also good people”, re-emphasising this idea that it is the environment as much as the football that allows the team to be so successful.
Sam stresses that even despite this environment; the focus is on winning and as a family the aim is to win. “With the current team that we have now, I don’t think there’s a team out there that can beat us”. Some might argue that this expected quote of the player who plays for the team, however Sam underlines that the reason for his confidence is due to the quality that UTR possess.
Furthermore, due to the quality they possess, UTR and Sam are very interested in facing the best and when asked who in particular he would like to face Sam responded with “Rising Ballers”. Following their dismantling of SE Dons during pre-season, they seem to be the team high on everyone’s list.
Ironically, the one player he would bring if they were to take a player from another team is Montel ‘Mr 2 Eazy’ from SE Dons. “I like watching players who play like him, as he finds the game so easy. I like watching players who make the game look so easy….His personality and his game genuinely makes him a good fit for our team as he is a cool guy too.”
One thing for certain is that Montel in any lineup, would automatically improve that team so SE Dons will definitely be grateful to have him within their setup.
In being one of a number of YouTube teams and providing people with content on their club, rivalries will definitely form whether spoken or unspoken and I thought it would be important to ask Sam on his opinion on the other clubs that he considers the best.
“If I was to rank teams, I would put UTR at the top because I genuinely think we can beat anyone because of our quality and I would put Rising Ballers second as they constantly strengthen even after losing some of their best players…SE Dons I put third, Lambeth All Stars I would put fourth and Baiteze I would put fifth”.
These rankings will definitely cause a stir however, Sam pointed out that “Everyone has a good team and philosophy and when it comes to ranking these YouTube teams we are literally separated by minor things”.
This is one thing that I really resonated with as a fan of grassroots football. Rivalry is very important as it increases the stakes and raises the level of quality, however as a community we should not lose our identities all in the name of being rivals. Grassroots football is on the map now because people resonate with the content being shown and the variety that is displayed.
Under the Radar is a name I really loved and I asked Sam what the name means to him and he said “Underrated footballers…..coming into a scene where there are a lot of teams who are doing well, so we are doing our thing under the radar”.
As well as that he added that “The name to him also stems from the idea of being doubted”. These are significant understandings of a name I think suits not just the team but all teams on the grassroots level.
There is a high level of doubt within this means of broadcasting football to viewers, and grassroots football as a whole is currently going under the radar but there will come a time when the respect it deserves will finally be given and we will have UTR to thank for the provision of this name.
Written by Daniel Bamiji