The Middlesex County Football League Premier Division 2021/22 season begins with the visit of one of four promoted sides.
We lost Hilltop and London Samurai Rovers to promotion but the division is now up to 16 teams with FC Soma, AVA, Wilberforce Wanderers and AEK London being moved up.
While we await the return of football to the Old Spotted Dog Ground – currently due in January – both our men’s and women’s teams will start the season at Wadham Lodge.
We’ll be playing across their pitches and this is the first of three consecutive home games for the men’s first team.
Unfortunately we’ve had to switch this one from the Stray Dog to the adjoining Wadham Lodge 3G due to a waterlogged corner of the pitch but all other match details remain the same.
Player-manager Geoff Ocran’s side have been putting in some impressive pre-season performances, ending with the 5-2 defeat at FC United of Manchester.
With many of last season’s squad returning, we were only really looking at adding a few players to freshen things up.
I’ve always stressed that our home form needs to be impeccable for us to push for the title. FC Soma are a bit of an unknown quantity but we are confident.
Here’s what we do know about FC Soma. They are a youth and mens football club based in the London borough of Camden.
They have been promoted this summer after lying top after six games in the MCFL Division One Central & East – the same division we won in 2018/19.
FC Soma joined the league in 2019/20, meaning they’ve had their only two seasons abandoned, and this will be only their 18th league game in their history due to the pandemic.
For this season they’re on the move. Their home ground is no longer Chase Lodge Playing Fields (Tottenham Hotspur’s former training ground) and instead they’ll be based at a new 3G development at Bannister Sports Ground in Harrow.
This summer they appointed Mansor Omar as their new manager at the young age of 28 and beat AVA – another promoted side – 2-0 in a friendly.
Clapton CFC vs FC Soma is on Saturday, August 14 2021 at 3pm at the Wadham Lodge 3G, Kitchener Road, Walthamstow.
Entry as usual is free but with donations welcome, with a suggested £3 for waged adults, You can donate either online in advance or on the day.
In other words, advanced tickets are still on sale but are no longer compulsory. If you do get an advanced ticket, please have the details on your phone or printed out so we can pass you through quickly.
We will have a mini programme available for suggested £1 donation.
The Matchday Centres bar will be open from 1pm, please follow their signs as a one-way system is in operation. You can take your beers out to the pitch, of course.
We won’t have a foodbank collection this week but hopefully it resumes next week.
The pandemic is by no means over and not every adult has had the chance to have both jabs yet. So although the government and FA have scrapped all rules, we are continuing with the safety measures below. We want everyone to feel safe and comfortable.
- If you’re arriving by public transport, a reminder that face masks are still compulsory unless exempt
- Spectators are encouraged to wear face masks indoors, such as when visiting the bar or toilets
- There’s hand sanitiser at the entrance and a QR code for those checking in on the app
- Free NHS lateral flow tests are available if you wish to take a test before the game
- You can donate on the day but we will still sell advanced tickets to reduce cash handling
- Please follow the signs around the site and instructions from matchday volunteers
- Spread out around the ground as much as you can
Please do not attend if…
- You are ill or have symptoms of Covid-19 (a high temperature, a new, continuous cough or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste)
- You’ve tested positive for Covid-19 within the last 10 days or someone you live with has symptoms or tested positive
- You’ve been told you’ve been in contact with someone who tested positive by NHS Test and Trace or pinged by the NHS COVID-19 app
- You have arrived from abroad (not including Ireland, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man or other parts of the UK) and are within your required quarantine period.
- Wadham Lodge is about 20 minutes walk from Walthamstow Central station. 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. It will take about 12 minutes.
- There’s also plenty of car parking space available at the ground.