Consultant and ex-Dulwich player backs old club in FA Cup match

A recruitment consultant and former Dulwich Hamlet player has backed his ex-team mates to stage an FA Cup giant killing tonight in front of the BBC’s cameras.

While the likes of holders Manchester City and record cup winners Arsenal are still a couple of rounds from entering the fray, tonight the first round proper of the FA Cup kicks off.

The BBC has chosen Dulwich Hamlet, who play in the sixth tier of English football, against League Two’s Carlisle United for its first screened match of this season’s competition.

Recruiter caught up with Anthony Cook, now senior consultant at Grep Technology Partners, who left Dulwich Hamlet this summer to join Welling United, for his take on how he thinks they will fare this evening.

“It’s one of those games. It’s a Friday night on TV and it’s very far [for Carlisle United] coming down to a ground that they don’t know much about. It will be packed. There will probably be 3,500 fans there. The fans are always on Dulwich’s side and I think the players will really be up for it.

“They [Dulwich Hamlet] have got a very talented squad. I know a lot of the new additions and the players that were there last season. I think it will make a great storyline – being homeless – this time last year playing away from the ground – going back to the ground, getting into the first round of the FA Cup… I think they’ve got a great chance and I think they will do amazingly well.”

According to Cook, he only left Dulwich due to their move to training in the morning, which brought about a conflict with his work commitments.

However, having moved to nearby Welling United, he has been met with a boss that understands the demands of the recruitment agency sector.

“The chairman [Mark Goldberg] owns a recruitment agency [Recruiterlink] so he understands the job and the role, and how much time you need to put in. Welling are part time. We train one evening on Thursday, so it made sense for me to go over there.”

And while Cook believes Dulwich striker Danny Mills is the man to back to score tonight, he hopes his old club will not fare as well when they come up against his new club next week.

“We’ve got Dulwich again on Tuesday. I get on really well with management staff. I still speak to everyone over there, including the manager Gavin… It will be a little bit emotional. It’s a bit of a derby – they’re not too far from us and a lot of the players know each other, and no one wants to lose that game. Hopefully they win on Friday and we win on Tuesday!”

Dulwich Hamlet v Carlisle United is live on BBC Two tonight. Kick off is at 19.55.

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