It’s shaping up to be a five-way battle for promotion for the Clapton CFC men’s first team as we enter the last few months of the season.
5 of the 14 Middlesex County Football League Premier teams have applied for promotion to Step 6 of the men’s football pyramid.
Promotion at our level is not automatic, but typically only one club goes up from this division each year. That means these five teams vying for that one slot:
- Clapton Community
- Cricklewood Wanderers
- FC Soma
- NW London
- Sporting Hackney
As it stands, FC Soma and NW London are in pole position to finish top of that mini-league, while Clapton CFC are probably the outsiders. So there is lots of work for Geoff Ocran’s side to do.
However, finishing top of the five applicants doesn’t guarantee promotion in itself, as there are also off-field requirements to fulfil.
The promoted club usually must: a) finish at least in the top five; b) be the highest placed of the applicants; and c) meet the FA’s off-field criteria for promotion.
All applications, including ours, will now be assessed by the FA. The Old Spotted Dog Ground will need to pass the ground grading before the end of March along with the club meeting other regulatory requirements.
Brentham and Larkspur Rovers, who are both in contention for the MCFL title, have seemingly not applied, likely due to not being able to fulfil the ground rules.
If Clapton CFC were to be promoted, the FA would likely place us in the Eastern Senior League South (along with clubs such as Hackney Wick and Barkingside).
However, there’s a chance we could be placed in Combined Counties Division One, where former opponents Hilltop and London Samurai Rovers play.
Other clubs in the Essex area to have applied for promotion are Chelmsford City Reserves and Stanway Pegasus of the Essex & Suffolk Border League, DTFC and Lymore Gardens of the Essex Alliance League, and Basildon Town and Rayleigh Town of the Essex Olympian League.
The Clapton CFC women’s first team won’t need to apply for promotion for several more months.