Having been told that he wasn’t big enough to become a professional footballer, Jamal’s impressive CV must be an annoying read for those initial doubters.
With a playing career that includes Charlton, Southend, Barnsley, Bristol City, Notts County and Sheffield United, Jamal has more then proven his critics wrong.
“I’ve had a really good career that I’m really proud of. Hard work and determination has helped carry me through.”
The tricky wingers semi final appearance in the FA Cup with Barnsley is his stand out memory in a career that still has him playing into to his mid 30’s.
“It was unbelievable there [at Barnsley]. It was like a fairy tale.”
Now settled in his native North London, Jamal is really enjoying life with the Bees following a frustrating summer of transfer speculation.
But once he had spent time at The Hive and met the people associated with the club, there was only ever one destination for him.
“The chairman here was fantastic. It’s got great foundations at the club. The facilities are fantastic. To come back home was a dream come true for me.”
Jamal is enjoying the weekly battle of playing in League Two, describing it as a ‘crash, bang, wallop’ league where you have to be tough to get by.
He is thriving in an environment where you have to earn your right to play, using his speed and skill to get the Barnet faithful off their seat whenever he can.
“You have to win the battle first. You have to win the battles to go on and win games.”
Jamal describes the dressing room here at Barnet as one of the best he’s been in, with the camaraderie between the lads and the gaffer making it easy to stay focused from game to game.
“Everyone’s so together. There’s no bad eggs. There’s a good bunch of lads here.”
With the season now into it’s final third, Jamal remains positive that the playoffs are still within reach of the team. He knows that a good run of results can significantly jump you up the table and that is certainly what the lads are aiming for.
“We know we’re not far off at all. Just got to keep doing what we’re doing. Be more resilient at the back and more ruthless up front.”
On a personal level Jamal is keen to continue his fine form with Barnet and help the club continue to progress this season and into the next.
“I hope I can give a lot more to Barnet Football Club. I’m as fit as ever. I can run all day. Hopefully I can help Barnet push on.”