Dulwich Hamlet set to sign two former Chelsea youngsters – and do deal for ex-Gillingham striker Cundle

BY RICHARD CAWLEY

Dulwich Hamlet have added former Colchester United defender Magnus Okuonghae and striker Jay May to their squad.

And the National League South new boys are also trying to agree deals with former Chelsea striker Walter Figueira and Greg Cundle, another frontman who started on Gillingham’s books.

Hamlet have also agreed to sign another former Blues youngster – centre-back Daniel Pappoe. The 24-year-old had loans at Colchester and Kingstonian during his time with the Premier League club before joining Brighton in 2014.

He was capped by Ghana at under-20 level.

Pappoe moved to Crawley Town on a non-contract basis in August 2016 but linked up with New Radiant, in the Maldives, the following January.

At the start of last season he signed a deal with Romanian club Foresta Suceava.

Battersea-born Figueira, 23, played in Wednesday night’s 2-1 friendly defeat to Charlton Athletic at the KNK Stadium.

He had been out in Portugal, turning out for Moura.

Okuonghae, 32, played 215 games for Colchester United and spent two years with National League outfit Maidstone United before moving to Welling United last summer.

May – the brother of former Millwall forward Ben – had a couple of seasons leading the scoring charts at Maidstone United before stints with Hythe Town and Margate.

“With Magnus I have known him since he was 16,” said Dulwich manager Rose. “At the end of last season I got on the phone to him and asked if he would come and help us out.

Greg Cundle, Gillingham

“He has started a career off the pitch as well and it suits him to be part-time. It was the ideal moment to try and get him.

“Magnus has played a lot of league games and has been a captain at most of the teams he has played for.

“Jay is one of the strongest non-league centre-forwards and has played Conference and Conference South football for a few years. He also brings experience and physicality, which we hadn’t really got.

“I’m hoping to do a deal with young Walter. If we get that done it will be great. Greg is someone we like as well. We’re trying to make both of those happen but we are trying to cut our cloth accordingly to our size and budget.

“Walter was a kid as Chelsea who they had quite high hopes for. He went out to play in Portugal because some of his family is from there. He played a couple of seasons out there but has come back and wants to make his mark in England.”

Dulwich play their first league game at Welling United on August 4.

The South Londoners won promotion from the Isthmian Premier League via the play-offs after numerous near misses before.

“We want to do as well as possible but I’m not going to say we will finish here or there because it is a new league – we don’t know how we are going to fare,” said Rose.

“If we end up in the play-offs that will be a successful season. I’d be happy and I think the club would be happy. But survival in our first year has to be the aim. We’ve taken so long to get up, we don’t want to go straight back down.

“We don’t want to get too carried away with ourselves as well. We are ambitious. If we can keep growing the club, on and off the pitch, then great.”

Byron Lawrence – another one of Rose’s new boys – scored for Dulwich in the Charlton friendly.

The Addicks were committed to the fixture as part of the deal which took full-back Jamie Mascoll to The Valley in August 2017.

Dulwich fell behind when Lyle Taylor drove smartly across Preston Edwards in the 15th minute to atone for an earlier miss.

The summer signing from AFC Wimbledon has scored in three of their four warm-up matches – two of those behind-closed-doors fixtures.

Dulwich had failed to test Dillon Phillips in the Addicks goal before they were level on 37 minutes.

Lawrence still had plenty to do when he picked up the ball on the edge of the box but found the perfect angle for his strike, his effort going in off the left post.

Charlton regained the lead eight minutes into the second half. Karlan Grant broke across the penalty box and his inviting low cross was tucked in at close range by Jake Forster-Caskey.

A slip by Patrick Bauer presented May with a shooting opportunity but Ashley Maynard-Brewer, between the posts for the Addicks after the restart, produced the save.


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