Tons manager Jonny Fowell has announced via Twitter that Clapton will be working with newly reformed Epping FC.
Epping FC are back for the upcoming season after they folded a year ago. They will be begin life again in the Essex Olympian League, and will be partly serving as development squad for Clapton.
They will be playing once again at Stonards Hill Recreation Ground, a short walk from Epping station on the Central Line, with games taking place on Saturdays at 2pm.
The link appears to involve players being dual registered for Clapton and Epping and therefore they will be able to play for both teams.
The move comes a year after it was announced there will be no reserves or youth teams for Clapton for the 2016/17 season.
This meant that the manager hosted a number of trial games during his first season to assess potential new players.
The hope is that this partnership with Epping will return to a more traditional form of developing and assessing players.
Newham-based New Revolution Sport previously announced plans to form a Clapton under-18s team.
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.
Jonny describes Epping manager and ex-Ton Asa Pamplin – who also turned out for Aveley, Enfield Town, Hornchurch and Ilford in his playing career – as a “life long friend”.
Asa told us: “The club folded last year so along with the council and some good sponsors we reformed the club.
“Using yourselves as a good example we aim to be a community club.
“I’ve played football with Jon since we were nine years old so after speaking to him and Clapton not having a reserves and relying on trial games it seemed a good opportunity for us to give some game time to squad players who are not getting 90 minutes.”
It is believed the deal will work in favour of both teams, with Epping able to utilise some of the Tons players who will be hoping to make the step up to the Essex Senior side.
The Epping side will have ambitious of their own as they return to St Stonards Hill with new sponsors.
In partnership with the local council, they hope to embed the club back into the community.
We at Clapton FC News wish them the best of luck.
Follow Epping’s progress here @EppingFC_