CCFC’s Women’s First Team’s historic first season didn’t go quite according to plan.
But we’ve gone up. Kind of.
A restructure means that this time we’ll be in the Greater London Women’s Football League (GLWFL) Premier rather than Division 1. This is the sixth level of the pyramid.
The actual teams will be the same, with the exception of new addition Enfield Town Reserves. They replace Luton Town Reserves, who took a voluntary demotion.
We look at some of the teams we will be facing in what will (hopefully) be our first full season in the red and white!
Brentford WFC were only three points above Clapton, in seventh place, when last season was halted. But the two teams didn’t get the chance to meet, so we don’t have many clues as to what to expect.
This season has already got off to a flying start. The Bees defeated Royal Wootton Bassett Town Ladies, from a higher level on the pyramid, in an FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round tie.
Last season was Comets’ first at this level, coming up from GLWFL Division 2 South with Crystal Palace Development.
Crystal Palace Development
Crystal Palace have had a women’s football setup since 1992 and their first team currently play in the Championship.
The Eagles’ development side made light work of Clapton in Walthamstow last October. A stylish performance saw them run out 4-1 victors.
Dulwich Hamlet Reserves
Dulwich Hamlet launched their women’s football setup just last season.
The first team played in the London and South East Premier Division, with a development side in GLWFL Division One.
They romped to a 5-1 win over the Tons on the plastic pitch next to the Stray Dog.
Hampton & Richmond Borough
Hampton & Richmond go back to 2002 in one guise or another and play in Feltham.
A team well-known to our players from their Stoke Newington days, Islington came up from the GLWFL Division 2 North two seasons ago.
They also have a team, Islington Reds, squaring up against our 5s team in the Super 5 Women’s league.
Enfield Town Reserves
The newcomers to the league were founded in 1985 as Merryhills Midgets – named after the founder members’ primary school.
In 2003 they linked up with Enfield Town and they now have three women’s teams, as well as youth levels.
They defeated Clapton 4-3 in the first friendly of this preseason.
Regents Park Rangers
This will be the Barnes-based side’s ninth GLWFL campaign.
Having just suffered relegation from the level above, they were sitting in ninth when last season was abruptly ended.
Our sole meeting to date was a 1-1 draw on a scorching day last September at their Barn Elms ground.
Walton Casuals came up with Clapton (then AFC Stoke Newington) two seasons ago.
They had already sewn up a second successive league title by the time Covid threw a spanner in the works.
Alas, that season will be wiped from the records and they will have to do it all again.
In spite of Walton’s dominance, they only managed a narrow 2-1 win over the Tons at the Stray Dog.
Back in South West London they won 3-1. Casuals have already progressed to the next round of the FA cup with a 4-0 win over AFC Littlehampton Ladies.