It is with great sadness we announce that Sunday’s game against Dorking Wanderers was women’s first team manager Claudio Gomes’ last competitive game with Clapton Community FC.
Claudio joined CCFC for the 2020/21 season. From finishing 8th the season before, the team managed a 3rd place finish in his first season. In the 2021/22 season, the team went on to make footballing history, as we became the first tier 7 club to reach the third round proper of the FA Cup, and the first to beat a team four tiers higher. At the awards ceremony, we announced our promotion to the London & South East Regional League, and tier 6.
Our first outing in tier 6 has been a successful one. We sat top of the league for most of the season, and will finish 4th.
Everyone in the women’s first and development teams, as well as the wider club, would like to take this opportunity to thank Claudio for all his hard work on and off the pitch. He has taken the teams from strength to strength, and helped change the landscape of the Women’s FA Cup for the future.
Claudio will still be overseeing the team whilst we are on the hunt for a new first team manager.
For those who didn’t join us on that last day, below are Claudio’s words from the final programme of the season.
Today marks the final match of the season, and as we prepare to take to the pitch, I can’t help but feel grateful for the past three years we’ve shared together. It’s been an honour to serve as the head coach of this team, and I’m so thankful for the memories and experiences we’ve created.
When I first arrived, the aim was to become a competitive force in the league. Over the past three seasons, we’ve undoubtedly achieved that. Winning our first cup was a defining moment for us, and it was cemented with another cup final appearance and a league promotion. Our FA Cup run will forever be etched in our memories – the long trips, celebrations, and moments shared with the team and fans, and the records we achieved along the way. The reopening of the OSD ground was remarkable and allowed us to be closer to the fans, and their amazing support throughout the season brought so much joy.
This season was undoubtedly more challenging, but we never lost our competitive spirit. We spent most of the season in first place and made it to another cup final. While others take different approaches, we worked with the same group throughout the three seasons, and the team spirit we cultivated allowed us to achieve all that we have accomplished so far.
I’m grateful for the part this team, together with Brian and Jack, and this club, have played in my development as a person and coach over the past three years. Working with such talented and passionate individuals has been a pleasure, and I’ll cherish the memories we’ve created together.
I hope we can put on a good performance today and finish the season in the way we deserve. This is an opportunity for us to enjoy the moment as a team and as a club, with the unwavering support of our fans and all the volunteers who have helped make this journey an unforgettable one. I would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate our men’s first team for winning the league title after their great season. The support behind all our achievements has been incredible, and only shows how bright the future of this club will be.