Daniel Carr: The Dulwich Hamlet Goal Machine Set For Liverpool
Daniel Carr is an 18 year old forward who joined Dulwich Hamlet's ranks midway through last Autumn having left Reading FC's youth set up in the summer. Adding a clinical focus to a previously inconsistant but creative first XI, his twenty-three goals in as many games enabled the South Londoners to keep track of former league club Maidstone United's otherwise dominance of the Isthmian Division One South. Lying in second place though with games in hand, Hamlet remain in control of their own destiny.
Carr has come to the attention of the rest of the country today with reports that 6th place chasing Liverpool FC are offering him a trial. This perhaps contextualises his below par performance Tuesday night during an uncharacteristically meek 3-1 loss away to Merstham (though by that logic the rest of the team must have been offered trials at Barcelona). He is undoubtedly a player of splendid potential. Powerful, quick, goal-hungry, ebullient and young. He has benefited enormously from the tutelage Hamlet's superb talent goldminer of a boss, Gavin Rose.
It is therefore no surprise economically stronger clubs will look at him, and the news marks a personal triumph for a lad so recently rejected by the youth department of a smaller club than Liverpool. It is, however, of great footballing concern to Hamlet. When would he leave, and what hope for our own progress on the pitch this season? Losing Chris Dickson to Charlton Athletic in similar circumstances last decade derailed a promotion charge.
But what is most interesting about this story is that Dulwich Hamlet only have Carr signed to a contract thanks to the efforts of the fans-organised money-raising 12th Man scheme. It may come as a surprise to supporters of the likes of Liverpool, but the economic reality for most football clubs is that signing even a "Reading reject" no-one has heard can be a financial impossibility. The 12th Man project made this happen, and depending on the terms of any deal will hopefully provide the club with desperately needed income. It is a reminder that in the non-league a fan is much closer to participation than mere consumption.