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“He was a street footballer” – Dulwich Hamlet boss Gavin Rose on the hard work which saw Charlton new boy Diallang Jaiyesimi break into pro game


Diallang Jaiyesimi sealed a South London return on Monday – with Dulwich Hamlet manager Gavin Rose delighted to see the winger’s hard work pay off.

Charlton triggered a release clause in the 22-year-old’s contract to bring him in from Swindon Town.

Southwark-born Jaiyesimi came through Aspire Academy – set up by Rose and Junior Kadi – before signing a professional deal with Norwich City in January 2016.

“The way he played was very much as a street footballer,” said Rose. “But what he learned with us was the technical side.

“He had the raw attributes and what he has done is refined them over the years. Some of his skills you couldn’t coach

“He was 14 when he joined the academy. He wasn’t one who loved the classroom but we made sure he realised it was not guaranteed he was going to be a footballer.

“Diallang stuck at it – he showed a lot of resolve. He did something he didn’t want to do, in order to do something he did.

“At 16-17 he was training with the Dulwich first-team and was youth team captain. We had a particularly good year in the FA Youth Cup – he scored a huge amount of goals from an attacking midfield position. He caught the eye of a lot of Premier League and Championship clubs. He ended up going to Norwich.

“A lot of the clubs at that time were out of London – Ipswich, Colchester and Watford showed some signs. It’s funny because South London club would all be aware – they cover the area more than anyone. Sometimes it’s almost too good to be true and they are looking for something else.

“We’ve moved a lot of boys on from the first team and they don’t always go to South London clubs but find their way back around there. Clubs don’t seem to mind if they come in the long run.

“We’ve kept in touch. I feel like he has got a lot more to give. If he keeps working hard he can do really well at Charlton and hopefully take them up.

“He is back in a familiar area and nearer to his family. I hope he makes more of a story for himself.”

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