Hamlet eye long-term – but insist players concentrate on Bath
BY TOBY PORTER
A televised FA Cup tie will help Dulwich Hamlet make the difficult transition to being a professional club, the manager says.
The Champion Hill side began the cautious process of paying it’s players full-time in the summer and already has training during the day.
Players have been recruited who have the flexible working hours so they can attend manager Gavin Rose’s morning sessions, as he plots a route to the Football League.
But the £75,000 TV money comes at a perfect time – it is the fee the club gets for their televised game against Carlisle on November 8 (7.55pm) which will be on BBC 2.
Rose already has a squad of personal trainers and Uber drivers who can fit their work around football training.
He now wants to ensure the club is moving up the table – and tomorrow’s home game against seventh placed Bath City will be a crucial next step.
But he is confident none of his players will take it easy in order to ensure they are fit for that high-profile game.
“I don’t think it’ll be a problem with our group,” he said. “We haven’t spoken about the Carlisle draw since it happened. But we have drawn 1-1 at Chelmsfortd City last weekend and there was no evidence of them holding back.
“They are pretty aware of my character – they know if they’re not doing their job day-to-day they will not play.
“If they’re in the team it is on the back of what they did in the last game – that is a prerequisite. They don’t need too much warning from me. If I start seeing signs I will take action. But I have not detected anything like that. They are fully aware that if they are not totally committed, it would go against them.
“I do feel like we have slightly under achieved in the first third of the season, though so now, approaching the middle part of the campaign becomes important. We’re trying to get as many points as we can and then we’ll be more aligned to what I expect when it comes to the business end of the season.
“The players need to understand that they need to prepare right for training and matches and recovery because the sessions have become harder and more intense and the games are tougher as well.
“It is survival of the fittest now we are a professional club.
“If they don’t do their individual programme of training, they might be left behind.
“But all our players are jumping on board and working hard. It is a new challenge for all of them.
“We want to see whether they will run with it. It will definitely benefit the club in long term.
“Our players have jobs where they are masters of their own destiny.
“We recruited players who saw themselves as full-timers.
“They live that way – the ones we recruited have done things like started businesses or done part-time work so that the transition has not caused too much upheaval.”