BY RICHARD CAWLEY
Dulwich Hamlet are set to bank the money raised from their FA Cup run – with manager Gavin Rose explaining that a double signing last week was not funded by their progression in the competition.
The South London club handed debuts to Charlton midfielder Ben Dempsey and defender Nathan Smith in the 4-1 FA Cup first round defeat to Carlisle United.
The pair had signed just hours before Friday night’s tie at Champion Hill, which was televised live on BBC Two.
Midfielder Dempsey has signed initially for a month on loan. Left-back Smith was released by Dagenham & Redbridge at the end of last season.
Dulwich earned £36,750 in prize money for progressing from the second qualifying round – and also receive a further sum despite losing to their League Two opposition.
They also split the gate receipts of a record 3,336 gate – the same applies to the TV coverage which was £75,000 at this stage last season.
“I suppose it is alright running from month to month or week to week but the club has never been in a position to have that little bit of a buffer,” said Rose, who has been in charge at Hamlet for more than a decade.
“If I can help and the owners can help in trying not to touch it then we can start next season with less pressure. There might be one or two things which need to be paid for by the club but I don’t think you are looking at much, unless it is absolutely necessary.
“It gives the owners a chance to stabilise things in the long run.
“Ben and Nathan coming in were nothing to do with the FA Cup. We needed to get them in anyway and we’re looking to get some boys out, either on loan or permanently.
“We feel we’re at the stage of the season, probably a third in, where we need to do a couple of bits to be more competitive and consistent.”
Rose’s adherence to normal spending is another reason that 31-year-old Smith – who played in the EFL for Yeovil Town and Chesterfield – has initially arrived on a short-term deal.
“We’re in the middle of the month so we didn’t have the budget [to offer longer],” said the Dulwich boss.
Rose watched Dempsey, 19, play for the Addicks both last season and the current campaign.
“On every occasion he has done well,” he said. “But we knew he’d be with the first-team or even on the bench because they [Charlton] had quite a few injuries.
“Once they cleared up, Ben made it clear he wanted to go out and play competitive football.
“Even if he just comes for a month to help us that will be great. If it is longer, even better.
“Everyone is having a look to see how it goes. Sometimes with loans players don’t fit in or don’t play, and then there is no point for a club to extend it any further.”
Dulwich drew 0-0 at Welling on Tuesday night and are winless in the National League since August 24. They have drawn four of their last five fixtures in the league and are 16th in the table.
“We’ve had some close games,” said Rose. “We have been winning games and ended up drawing or losing them.
“I definitely feel we could be 15 points better off than where we are. But the reality is that we have dropped those points. We need to start to try and grind them out so that we climb up the table.
“The one thing against Carlisle that we didn’t want to do was concede in the first 10 minutes. It’s something we’d spoken about. It made them more relaxed in what was a potential banana skin of a game – against a lower-league team on TV.
“They soaked up a bit of pressure and hit us on the break. They were very clinical with their finishing.
“It was a good challenge for myself and the players.”
PICTURES BY KEITH GILLARD
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