Two Dulwich Hamlet stars up for prestigious player of the year prize at National Game Awards


Xavier Vidal and Erhun Oztumer are in the running for the Step 3/4 Player of the Year Trophy.


By Ryan Walters

WITH footballers of the quality of Ian Wright and Peter Crouch having come through their set-up on the way to England honours, Dulwich Hamlet richly deserve their reputation for breeding the next generation of young stars.

And two more, fresh off the production line, are in the running for one of non-league football’s most coveted prizes after shining at the Champion Hill Stadium this season.

Xavier Vidal and Erhun Oztumer are both in the running for the Step 3/4 Player of the Year trophy at the National Game Awards next month, non-league football’s annual end-of-season bash.

They will battle it out for the trophy with Wealdstone winger Tom Pett, St Albans goal machine John Frendo and Leon Mettam of Worksop Town for the prize, with the winner announced at Fulham’s Craven Cottage on May 13.

Midfielder Vidal, 19, has already had trials with Bolton and Norwich City and scored the goal to secure Dulwich’s promotion from the Ryman South division last season as champions.

While 5ft 3in striker Erhun Oztumer has bagged 30 goals already this season, and has been training with Championship side Burnley.

And England C boss Paul Fairclough has been impressed with what he has seen of the pair this season, where they have helped Dulwich to a play-off spot in the Ryman Premier table.

“One of the things I do for the FA is run some representative games,” said Fairclough, who is currently director of football at Barnet.

“We’ve run a couple this year, including one in Devon and one over in Maidstone.

“I consciously pick players in the lower leagues to give me an opportunity to see them stand out.

“The boy from Wealdstone, [Tom] Pett, who is a winger, I found very, very technical, very intelligent and not short of pace at all.

“There’s a young lad at Dulwich called Xavier Vidal who for me is a classic number ten, very intelligent, very intelligent, although people would describe him as light.

“And the boy scoring all the goals at Dulwich [Erhut Ozhumer] a lot of clubs are standing up and taking notice at the moment.”

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