Clapton CFC men’s first team full pre-season friendlies schedule announced

The men’s first team can confirm its full pre-season friendly schedule building up to our big away double header in Manchester against FC United.

The Tons will take on old friends Estudiantes London, Dunmow Town and Catholic United along with first time games against CSM London, DTFC and Barking, ahead of the league start on August 14.

Games will take place in a variety of locations with four home games on the 3G at Wadham Lodge, Walthamstow, with very limited capacity.

We were unable to book the Stray Dog next door for these dates as the pitch is being relaid, while the Wadham Lodge stadium pitch is in use.

Unfortunately the Old Spotted Dog Stadium is not ready for football yet, despite the tens of thousands of pounds and thousands of hours of volunteers’ work so far.

Friendlies for our other teams, notably the women’s first team, will be announced

as soon as we can.

Ticket details for all games will be confirmed nearer the time. As it stands, all games are likely to be open to spectators, although that may change due to Covid restrictions.

CSM London vs Clapton CFC
July 3 2021, 2.30pm
Ashton Playing Fields, Woodford

The men’s first team start pre-season against CSM London of the Essex Alliance League Premier Division, which is now being upgraded to be the same Step 7 level as us. CSM’s home venue is the West Ham Foundation 3G at Beckton, but this game will take place at Ashton Playing Fields, where the main stadium has been recently redeveloped to become Essex Senior League side Woodford Town’s home. This game, however, will be on one of the other pitches.

Clapton CFC vs Estudiantes London
July 10 2021, 4pm
Wadham Lodge 3G, Walthamstow

Our last meeting with Estudiantes London

Next up, the Tons face Estudiantes London in a rematch after a close-run 3-1 friendly win in December. Our opponents are talented young players from Haringey in full-time education, coached by UEFA qualified coaches, and affiliated to Argentinian giants Estudiantes De La Plata.

Barking FC vs Clapton CFC
July 13 2021, 7.45pm
Mayesbrook Park, Barking

Barking’s redeveloped Mayesbrook Park with 3G pitch

It’s a midweek trip to Upney for a first game against Isthmian North side Barking – though probably not their full-strength side given they are 3 levels above us and look good for a tilt at another promotion. Some supporters may have visited Mayesbrook Park in the Clapton FC days, but the ground has been completely redeveloped since then, including a 3G surface, and our league rivals Sporting Hackney are moving in.

Clapton CFC vs Catholic United
July 17 2021, 4pm
Wadham Lodge 3G, Walthamstow

Our last meeting with Catholic United in the Anagram Records Trophy final

Essex Olympian League Premier Division side Catholic United need no introduction, having beaten us 5-1 in the Anagram Records Trophy final in 2019. At the time they were a level higher than us, and although now we’re level, they’re undoubtedly one of the best Step 7 sides around. Both teams are aiming for promotion to the Eastern Counties Football League so it should be an interesting test of levels.

Clapton CFC vs Dunmow Town
July 24 2021, 2pm
Wadham Lodge 3G

Our friendly game with Dunmow Town last summer

It’s a rematch with ambitious Step 8 side Dunmow Town, who we hosted in a behind-closed-doors friendly last season. That game – one of their first after being founded last summer – ended with a comfortable 3-0 win for Dunmow. Their promotion push was curtailed by the season being abandoned, but they did win their post-season cup competition. Recently they parted company with Allan Fenn, the former Clapton FC player and Ilford manager This fixture is a late change after Fisher had to withdraw from the game. We look forward to playing our fan-owned friends from Bermondsey another time.

Clapton CFC vs DTFC
July 31 2021, 4pm
Wadham Lodge 3G

DTFC winning silverware in their first league season

It’s back on the Astro as the Tons take on YouTube team, DTFC, founded by Arsenal Fans TV’s DT. Only joining the non-league pyramid last season, they won every league game in the aborted Essex Alliance League campaign, then won the supplementary cup competition too. They simultaneously enter the Essex Senior League’s post-season cup competition too, where they beat Hoddesdon Town and drew with Cockfosters, both two levels above, before losing to eventual winners Redbridge.

FC United of Manchester vs Clapton CFC
August 7 2021, 4pm
Broadhurst Park, Moston

FC United’s Broadhurst Park stadium

I’m sure our other opponents understand when we say this trip to Manchester, a celebration of fans-owned football with women’s and men’s team friendlies back to back, is the centre-piece of our pre-season. Our opponents FC United have broken new ground for supporters-owned football, building their own ground, winning multiple promotions and now even taking part in a midweek European tournament, the Fenix Cup. Their men’s team play four levels above ours, so expect fringe players and U23s to get a run-out.

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