Clapton CFC men’s first team apply for promotion to Step 6

It’s officially a two-way battle for promotion from the Middlesex County Football League Premier Division between Clapton CFC men’s first team and Shepherd’s Bush.

The two teams are first and second positions at the half-way stage and the only two promotion applicants so this is shaping up to be a humdinger of a second half of the season.

CCFC now need to do what’s required both on and off the field in order to make the step up to the next level of the non-league pyramid.

On the field that requires Geoff Ocran (pictured above) and his team finishing in the top 5 and above Shepherd’s Bush.

Off the field it’s about hitting the Step 6 ground grading standards, which are a significant leap up from what’s allowed at our own Step 7.

Grounds at that level, for instance, need a clubhouse, floodlights, covered seating, fencing, turnstiles and more.

Most pressing for us to hit the requirements is the refurbishment of the changing rooms at the Old Spotted Dog Ground. Recently, we bought the freehold to the adjoining land, which includes the old changing rooms.

We are currently arranging its urgent renovation and hope to start playing men’s first team games as soon as possible.

The deadline for grounds to reach the appropriate standards for Step 6 is at the end of March.

If Clapton CFC were to be promoted, the FA would likely place us in the Eastern Senior League South.

Other clubs in the division include Sporting Bengal United, Tower Hamlets, Hackney Wick and Barkingside plus longer trips to Benfleet, Wivenhoe Town and Basildon Town.

However, there’s a chance we could be placed in another league such as Combined Counties Division One, where the likes of CB Hounslow United and London Samurai Rovers play, or the Spartan South Midlands Division One.

Other clubs in the Essex area to have applied for promotion are Chelmsford City Reserves and Dunmow Town of the Essex & Suffolk Border League, Brimsdown, FC Baresi and Woodford East of the Essex Alliance League, and Hutton and Rayleigh Town of the Essex Olympian League.

The women’s first team are eligible for promotion too, but with only one place up for grabs we would need to finish top of the table.

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