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Bartlett says his heart never left Clapton as he returns as new assistant to boss Fowell

PUBLISHED: 14:00 23 August 2018

Clapton players celebrate after getting the Essex Senior League runners-up shield (pic: Clapton FC News).

Clapton players celebrate after getting the Essex Senior League runners-up shield (pic: Clapton FC News).

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Ray Bartlett says his heart never left Clapton and he is pleased to be returning to the club as assistant manager.

Bartlett returns to the club after a season away from the Tons to join back up with manager Jonny Fowell after assistant Wayne Seal left earlier this week.

He spent last season with Wadham Lodge (now Leyton Athletic) in the first half of the campaign, before leaving to join Barkingside and work alongside Michael Walther.

“I’ve had a few offers over the past two weeks, a couple clubs from the Essex Senior League and one from the Bostik, but my heart is here,” Bartlett said.

“To be honest it feels like I’ve never left and I’m excited to be working with so many familiar faces.

“Jonny is a fantastic manager and I can see he has learnt a lot since my time away. I’m really looking forward to working with him again in my newer role.”

The former first-team coach is looking forward to working with the Tons squad and alongside manager Fowell for the rest of the Essex Senior League campaign.

“The big attraction for me is of course the players and Jon,” he added. “All my friends chose to stay on at Clapton while I was off adventuring at different clubs learning new things.

“Jon is not afraid to try new things or give players a chance, which is why he probably has had a lot of success.”

Bartlett is confident of the squad at Clapton and believes they could push on for another successful season, like when they finished runners-up in 2016/17 season.

“With the squad we have right now I don’t think there is any doubt we are a top-six team in this league and it all comes down to consistently,” he added.

“If we do as well as we did the last time I was here there’s no doubt we could push for a title race again. It would be nice to get a good cup run and get these lads some silverware too.

“I think the year away worked out well for me, picking up loads of new ideas and meeting some new and old faces.

“The good news for me is that 70 per cent of the squad is still the same, the likes of Dylan Ebengo, Eamon Payne, Lanre Vigo, Jamie Lynton, Ryan Reed, Jay Morris, Steven Sardinha, Jeff Cobblah, Tayo Adoweru and a few more are all still there, so it will make it feel like I’ve never left.”

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