Despite all the trouble the club has been through last season, we continued to aim for our target of getting the team and management to Germany and by hook or by crook, we have achieved it, says Dulwich Hamlet fan Mishi Morath
DULWICH HAMLET are about to head into Europe for a pre-season trip of a lifetime thanks to a stalwart supporter who has raised the funds needed to get the team over to Germany.
The Hamlet, who have just been promoted to the Vanarama National League South for the first time in their illustrious 125-year history, having been in the Isthmian League since 1907, are to play a celebratory 125th anniversary celebratory match against their good friends from Altona 93, in Hamburg, on Sunday 15th July, the day of the World Cup Final.
The ‘fussball freundschaft’ began after Hamlet fan Mishi Morath visited Altona for a match in 2010 and it just grew from there.
“One of their fans was very friendly to me and it grew from there. I bought their fanzine, and it all snowballed,” said Morath.
Altona and Dulwich fans often pop to eachothers games when on holiday and this match is a return of the 90th anniversary match of Hamlet’s first visit to the Adolf-Jager-Kampfbahn in 1925 when Altona won 5-3 at Champion Hill three seasons ago.
This levelled the series with the legendary Edgar Kail hitting a hat-trick on the 4-1 victory in Germany at Easter 1925.
This tour has only been made possible by the three-year long fundraising, to raise nigh on £8,000, led by Mr Morath, through the ‘Inter City 125’ campaign.
He said: “It’s been a long hard slog, from parties, quiz nights, sponsored walks, merchandise from the Trust and so much more. Despite all the trouble the club has been through last season, we continued to aim for our target of getting the team and management to Germany and by hook or by crook, we have achieved it.”
The weekend away begins in earnest when Dulwich take on Bezirksliga outfit HFC Falke on Friday 13th July, which is the seventh tier of German football.
The team will have a full training session on the Saturday morning, before the eagerly anticipated friendly with Altona, at 12 noon on Sunday lunchtime 15th July.
Altona compete at a similar level to The Hamlet, the Hamburg Oberliga, which is Step Five in the German footballing system.
Dulwich are commemorating the match by wearing a special one-off kit for the tour, which has been auctioned off for the Medins Sans Frontiers/Doctors Without Borders charity and have also donated a specially commissioned ‘Jager Kail Cup’for the match, named after the two legendary footballing heroes of both sides.
While it is a once in a lifetime trip for most of the 200 or more Hamlet fans expected to cross the channel, the aim has always been to have the weekend as a full training camp for the First Team squad, with promotion earned it will be the perfect preparation for Gavin Rose’s squad, for their inaugural campaign in the Vanarama National League South.
Dulwich Hamlet will make their debut in that League with a trip to Welling United on Saturday 4 August (15:00)
They will then host East Thurrock United at Imperial Fields on Wednesday 8 August (19:45) and then Concord Rangers on 11 August (15:00).
Welling United (Steve King) and Concord Rangers (Sammy Moore) are under new management this season.
Visit Dulwich Hamlet’s website: www.pitchero.com/clubs/dulwichhamlet