Clapton are set to have an academy team once again – a year on after the club disbanded its entire youth set-up.
Newham-based group New Revolution Sport yesterday announced plans to form an under-18s line-up as it aims to rebuild the club’s academy set-up from scratch.
The academy, which will be run separately from the main club, also offers a chance to study for a BTEC sports diploma in a two-year football and education program.
It means the club may once again compete in the prestigious FA Youth Cup next season, after withdrawing this season just days before the scheduled tie at Ilford.
The driving force behind the scheme is Kiernan Hughes-Mason, who plays himself for Hastings United after spells with the likes of Millwall, Grimsby Town, Kettering Town and Welling United.
Kiernan, who is only 25 himself, has studied sports coaching at the University of East London and previously managed Leatherhead’s Under-18s set-up.
He also set up the youth football club Pro Power Dragons, where Clapton assistant Andre Thomas was also a coach.
Kiernan told us: “Clapton is close to my heart as my dad Peter Mason played for Clapton while they were in the Ryman League.”
Clapton’s reserve, U18s and U15s were all axed at the end of last season. In previous seasons the club had also fielded U13s, U14s, U16s and U17s.
There is no word on whether the club, under manager Jonny Fowell, may reintroduce a reserve team.