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.



Manager Jonny Fowell with Clapton chief exec Vince McBean

Clapton FC players are now receiving travel expenses, new manager Jonny Fowell has revealed.

The issue of players and coaches being out of pocket has long been contentious – and is understood to be a factor in ex-boss Mike Walther’s decision to quit.

However, in an interview with Clapton FC News and the Dogcast, Fowell said chief exec Vince McBean had agreed to provide a travel budget for away games.

He said: “I don’t know how much they get but Vince pays per vehicle, so they get a little bit of travel expenses that way.

“They don’t get wages, they just get what we call diesel money.

“I basically told him to do it because (otherwise) you can’t keep a squad together. And he understands that now.”

It was not made clear if the backroom staff also receive travel expenses, but Fowell said he was used to working within a tight budget anyway.

He said: “Even at Enfield, the Under 21s, I had to buy my own kit, my kit cost me £160. I had to buy my own balls, my own cones, my own bibs.

“I got nothing and that’s Ryman. Their budget is probably £3000 a week up there.”

Asked what he had said to persuade McBean, Fowell added: “I said ‘look. it would help the boys travel’. It’s not a lot of money but it shows that he cares.

“I told Vince I want bibs with numbers. I ordered bibs, which Vince paid, that is £50. He bought some balls. So he has dipped into his pocket which is great for me.”

The full interview is coming soon on the Dogcast, with more excerpts here on Clapton FC News. Subscribe to the Dogcast here.