Jonny Fowell has brought in Colin Reid as head coach

Manager Jon Fowell has added four new players and seen seven depart in recent weeks as Clapton look to get their Essex Senior League campaign back on track.

The Tons sit in seventeenth spot, just one place above relegation zone, after an iffy start to the league campaign, though enjoyed two great wins in the FA Cup, including against higher level Norwich United.

Fowell has also appointed former Macclesfield Town and Bishops Stortford coach Colin Reid as his new head coach, alongside assistant manager Andre Thomas and Ray Bartlett, the first team coach.

Having drawn a blank in front of goal in four of the nine matches this season, much of the player changes have been up front.

As the Tons look for their first home win of the season against Burnham Ramblers on Saturday, here we run through the changes since our last article on arrivals and departures.



Attacking midfielder Raphael Duyile, a near ever-present since returning to the club last season, has joined Essex Senior League rivals Barkingside. Rafa scored once this season and three times last but now reunites with former Clapton manager Mike Walther and has already played twice for the ‘Side.

Striker Craig Heskey has rejoined his former club Burnham Ramblers, for whom he scored 4 in 10 games at the end of last season. What are the odds on a goal on his return to the Old Spotted Dog on Saturday? Heskey started just one game in his second spell at Clapton plus two sub appearances.

Another striker Anton Stephenson also departs after taking the assistant manager’s job at Barking. He reunites with Justin Gardner, with whom he worked at Tower Hamlets. Stephenson started one game – the FA Cup tie at FC Clacton where he scored the only goal – and made two sub appearances. He appears to have also signed as a player for Redbridge.

Grafting midfielder Dean Bouho, pacy wideman Mustafa Kahie, composed centre-back Jordan Meikle and young striker Caiden Imbert-Thomas have also left the club after just 1 start and 2 sub appearances between them this season.


Greg Akpele made his Clapton debut in the 3-0 FA Cup defeat against Needham Market after signing from Non-League Chance. Announcing the signing, Fowell said attacker Akpele “will be a sensation at this level.”

Akpele caught the eye of higher level clubs after scoring 11 goals in the Essex Senior League for Basildon United four seasons ago. After trials with professional clubs, including Leyton Orient, Dagenham & Redbridge, he then went on to short spells at Braintree Town, Hampton & Richmond. Kingstonian, Cheshunt, VCD Athletic, Barkingside and Burnham Ramblers. Last season he was at Romford in the Isthmian North, where he bagged 6 goals.

Tall striker Ikem Odeh enjoyed a dream debut for the Tons, scoring on his debut against Norwich United. Starting as a youth at St Albans City, he’s since played for Cockfosters and Berkhamsted, in the Spartan South Midlands League, the same level as the ESL, scoring 2 in 30 appearances,

Also newly registered are Nick LoBlack, a former Haringey & Waltham Development defender, and former Ilford player Scott Hill.



image.jpegClapton FC News joined the Old Spotted Dogcast for an in-depth interview with Jonny Fowell which you can now hear in two parts.

The interview was a chance to put fans’ comments, queries and concerns to the new boss, and he answered everything we threw at him.

After the grilling, which took place last Friday (October 21), there was around 80 minutes of audio so the Dogcast has edited it into two special episodes.

In the first part of the double header, Jonny talks about his football background, clarifies some of the comings and goings at the Dog since his arrival in September, and outlines his vision for the team.

In the second part, we talk about his first impressions of the Clapton support, the Ultras’ politics (and his), his relationship with chief executive Vince McBean (and ours), plus his overall feelings about his first month at the Dog.

You can listen to them on the Old Spotted Dogcast website or subscribe on iTunes so you never miss an episode.

What do you think of the interview? Join the debate on the Clapton Ultras forum.



imageClapton FC have named Jon Fowell as their new manager following Mike Walther’s departure last month.

Caretaker manager Andre Thomas, who was in charge for four games, will stay at the club and returns to the assistant manager role.

The official Clapton website’s statement to announce Fowell’s appointment intriguely has promised ‘fresh…left of field ideas’.

We’re putting in an interview request to find out what that’s all about and to get to know him further – and we want your questions to put to him too.

In a nutshell

The list of clubs Jon played for include Grays, Aldershot, Leyton Pennant, Kingstonian and Ilford.

He has had several jobs in football since, including coaching at the Wimbledon FC academy and a job at Clapton’s neighbours Leyton Orient in their community scheme.

He has also coached abroad and offers a Dutch Soccer School for primary school age children. Most recently he was coaching the Enfield Town youth team.

Clapton’s statement on his appointment

“Jon brings with him a proven background of management and youth development of players to a higher level within the pyramid system of our football league.

“His philosophy fits into the future aspirations of the development of Clapton FC. He brings fresh ideas, some of which is left of field, but we are backing him!”

In his own words – on his appointment

Fowell told the official website: “This is a fantastic opportunity to be part of a great football club; hoping to continue the superb work that Michael has executed and endeavour to move the club in the right direction with my expertise, professionalism, support and encouragement.”

in his own words – on his background

Fowell’s profile on the Dutch Soccer School website says: “I gained my FA level 2 in 1993 under Leyton Orient first team manager John Sitton.

“In summer of 1993 I went to coach in the USA where I met Alf Galustian of Coerver coaching, it changed my way of thinking and coaching. In 1994 I got a job at Leyton Orient in their community schemes.

“In the summer of 1995 I decided to take my FA Level 3 intermediate course UEFA B now under Tony Lynton and in 1997 I was offered a job at Chelsea FC working in their satellite centres which I did for a few months but didn’t find it good.

“In 1998 my big break came and I was offered a job at both Arsenal FC under Roy Massey and Liam Brady but chose Wimbledon FC as I wanted to work with one of the best academy managers in modern day football Terry Burton, one of the first coaches to gain his UEFA A Pro licence in the world.

“Whilst under Terry’s leadership, I gained much coaching experience and signed players like Jason Puncheon (Crystal Palace), Andros Townsend (Tottenham Hotspurs), Colin Kazim Richards (Turkey International) and Feyenoord and David Martin (MK Dons).”

Got a question you’d like us to put to the new gaffer? Email us at claptonfcnews@gmail.com – or get us on Twitter or Facebook.