After last weekend’s 5-1 humbling at the hands of London Samurai Rovers, Clapton Community FC will be looking to dust themselves off and get back into the habit of winning as they find themselves in MCFL action again against local(ish) rivals Eastfield FC.
Eastfield F.C. are a part of the London Olympics legacy, having been formed in 2012 while chairman Jermaine Fagan was working at the Games.
They’ve just moved into the Ive Farm complex, across the road from Leyton Orient’s ground, which has just been refurbished – at last – in the wake of the Olympics.
The Eastfield squad has a strong core with youth development at its heart. Next year it plans to start a full-time scholarship programme for talented players to help them get a toehold in the fiercely competitive world of football.
The side have had a mixed bag of results so far this season with 2 losses, 2 draws and 2 wins, and Fagan mentioned the need to improve the team’s consistency when CCFC caught up with him earlier this week.
However, one of those wins did come in a 3-2 victory over the above-mentioned Samurai, a match Fagan described as being the highlight of their season so far.
That result certainly shows that the club has the capability to be in the mix for achieving its promotion ambitions this season.
“We are here to get promoted. Three or four teams are thinking the same thing. It’s going to be very competitive this season.” Fagan told CCFC.
According to Fagan, players to keep a particular eye out for at the Stray Dog this weekend include “an eccentric Bulgarian Goalkeeper, Rumen, who is very passionate on keeping a clean sheet.
“We have our club captain Roy Jones who is our most experienced player in the squad.
“Ollie Richards is our leader from defence.
“Our Colombian maestro in midfield who we have high hopes for, who we call Hames. He is 19 and is very good on the ball and like most South Americans doesn’t mind getting stuck in.”
Clapton CFC made their return to MCFL football last week after strong showings in cup competitions in the previous outings.
However, last Saturday’s outcome leaves the team needing a good result against Eastfield to stake their claim as a genuine title contender.
Player-manager Geoff Ocran told us: “Last Saturday I think we just have to hold our hands up and say we were beaten by the better team on the day.”
He remains confident in the team’s performance and their ability to put on a good show this week, however.
“It is only our second competitive defeat so no need to panic or to try and reinvent the wheel. Good teams respond to defeats and show character so that’s what we will do this week.
“We’ve heard through the grapevine that Eastfield are an organised and physical side which is typical of many of the sides at this step.
“But as the home team, we will look to impose our style of play and make sure we allow our match winners to influence the game.
“As long as this happens then we are confident of a positive result.”
The Stray Dog has been a happy hunting ground for the Tons so far this season and having the home fans behind them should provide a welcome boost.
The club has also been celebrating signing up over 1,000 owners/members. Ocran talked of his and the team’s appreciation at the level of support they have been shown.
“To reach 1000 members in just 6 months is a great achievement for a club at this level and I’m sure it’s only the start of great things to come.”
Fagan expects “a lot of my players will be in for a shock on playing in front of so many fans” however he’s confident that it will be “good for their development.”
Lets see how many of our 1,000 we can get out on Saturday to give the Stray Dog some real bark.
Our temporary home, The Stray Dog, is about 20 minutes walk from Walthamstow Central station, going past at least 5 pubs along the way.
Turn onto Hoe Street and follow the road all the way along (past the junction with The Bell pub) until Chingford Lane. Continue past Sir George Monoux 6th Form College and take the first right onto Brookscroft Road then left onto Kitchener Road.
You can catch a bus along that route too. The 357, 34, 97, 215 will all take you to the top of Brookscroft Road from Walthamstow Central (approx 12 minutes).
There’s also plenty of car parking space available at the ground. Postcode for your satnav is E17 4LL.
Entry to the game is completely free (but we welcome donations, suggested £3 for waged adults),
We’re on the pitch just left as you enter the Wadham Lodge car park. Look out for the Stray Dog sign! There’s a pitchside bar selling cans of lager, cider and soft drinks.
The toilets and full bar – selling a fuller range of draft beers and more – are in the main building in the car park.
There will be hot food available from Fusion Foods by the entrance.
We’ll also have our brilliant programme for sale at £2.
There is a food bank collection for this game on behalf of Walthamstow-based charity Eat or Heat. Please check the list of what they need.
There is also a cash collection for the Newham Recorder Community Links Christmas Toy Appeal, to buy presents for children who may otherwise have nothing to open on Christmas Day,
Clapton CFC vs Eastfield is on Saturday, December 1st at 2pm, at ‘The Stray Dog’, Wadham Lodge Sports Ground, Kitchener Road, Walthamstow, E17 4JP. You can join the Facebook event here.