Being a Clapton Belter

Clapton Belter Beth Malcolm tells us a bit about what’s been going on at Open Access, and the success of the Clapton Belters.

With three trophies (2 domestic leagues and 1 cup) and the lowest number of goals conceded – out of all Super 5 Mabley Green leagues – in their last 2 league runs, Clapton Belters have really made an impact on the pitch.

Just under a year ago, a number of players on the team were complete beginners to the game.

Belters finished last season with 12/14 games unbeaten, 32 goals scored and only 5 conceded. They have started this season’s Intermediate campaign strong with 2 out of 4 wins.

Credit must be made to the support from Clapton CFC open access sessions and our fantastic coaches, Julie and Ellie, for coaching each player though their development.

I used to play football every day when I was younger but haven’t played in over 10 years. At my first CCFC Open Access training, the coach told me that it didn’t matter how good you were, it was just about enjoying it, and it immediately took away all the pressure that you usually have playing football. Even since I have been coming, there have been people who have never played before who keep coming back each week and it’s because there really is such an accepting environment that I’ve never felt with football before. For me, it has been so nice coming back to football after so long and it’s been wonderful to play with such amazing people, especially in the Belters. I’ve felt so welcomed and have loved every minute so far.

Ciara, Clapton Belter

I got to play just one football match when I was at school and hadn’t played sports for over two decades when I heard about Clapton Open Access training. The atmosphere, culture and sense of community that Julie and Ellie have created immediately got me hooked! They’re brilliant coaches and a great comedy duo who make everyone feel welcome and driven to improve their game and, most importantly, have fun. It’s a real honour and pleasure to play with the Belters – every single player is hugely talented and supportive on and off the pitch and it’s been so rewarding to see and be part of the progression. A year ago I could not have imagined this 40 year old would be running around a football pitch three times a week – I can’t thank Julie, Ellie and my beautiful Belters enough! I love it!

A Clapton Belter

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