Ray Bartlett has quit as Clapton FC’s first team coach after two years at the club.
Former Takeley coach Ray unearthed many star players for the Tons, bringing in Ryan Reed, Steven Sardinha, Jay Knight, Aundre Spencer, Quincy Egbajale, Yusuf Bello, Jay Morris, Scott Hill, Mark Kavanagh, Nick Loblack, Josh Flynn and Mustafa Kahie among others.
In a message to the squad today, seen by CFC News, Ray wrote: “Guys I just wanted to let you know that I’m taking time out of football.
“Not sure whether I’ll be back in football or not, be that at Clapton or another club.
“There’s too many problems and politics going on behind the scenes, nothing is changing and it will start effecting things on the pitch soon.
“I feel really bad leaving Dre to do this all on his own, so he needs you guys to back and support him more than ever.
“I’ll never forget what a great season we had together last year and the memories that come with that.
“Just make sure you do everything the Clapton way and give 110% for Dre and the supporters.”
Speaking about his decision to quit, Ray told CFC News: “I’m so sad to be leaving, it was such a hard decision.
“The time and effort me and Dre have put into this club over the past year and a half feels like a full-time job.”
Ray praised Clapton assistant manager Andre Thomas as ‘like a brother’, which made his decision to quit even harder.
He said: “Dre has been like a brother to me, we clicked the first time we met. I was also very close with Mike Walther and when he asked me to join I could never say no.
“Which is why it makes it very hard to leave Clapton.”