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Clapton manager Fowell set to hand chances to reserves and youngsters in trophy tie

PUBLISHED: 15:00 01 December 2017

Clapton attacker Greg Akpele battles for the ball against Ilford (Pic: Tim Edwards)

Clapton attacker Greg Akpele battles for the ball against Ilford (Pic: Tim Edwards)

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Clapton will rotate their squad for their Gordon Brasted Memorial Trophy third round tie against Basildon United next week.

Clapton's Lanre Vigo tries to break clear of an Ilford player at the Old Spotted Dog (Pic: Tim Edwards)Clapton's Lanre Vigo tries to break clear of an Ilford player at the Old Spotted Dog (Pic: Tim Edwards)

The Tons will rest their injury-hit first-team squad and hand chances to a handful of under-18s and youngsters in the cup tie as they host the high-flyers at the Old Spotted Dog on Tuesday (7.45pm).

Manager Jonny Fowell admits the league is their focus and it will be a good chance for him to explore the club’s future talent.

“This is going to sound cliché, but the league is our priority and we’re not really interested in the cups,” said Fowell.

“It’s all about the league for me, so I will give the youngsters and a few of our under-18s a chance.

“I will be using it like a trial match to look at some players, the youngsters and give them all a chance to impress.”

The boss also revealed the players struggling for first-team football will also get the nod in the clash, adding: “Everyone that has been on the bench will get a chance so I can have a proper look at them.

“It’s Basildon, who are a good team, but if you want to play for Clapton you’ve got to be able to play against teams like them.

“If they don’t perform against them, then they’re probably not ready yet.”

Fowell also praised Basildon’s start to the season and the ambitions of their chairman Lee Connor.

“Basildon have done really well so far this season,” he said.

“I spoke to Lee a little while ago about what he wants to do with the club and he has plenty of ambition.

“He is an ambitious chairman and that is what we need in the Essex Senior League to keep improving the league.

“Look at Barking, Justin (Gardner) has done absolute wonders there with their chairman, and they’re now nine unbeaten and up to fifth in the Bostik North.”

The former Enfield Town under-21s coach also gave an injury update on three of his key first-team players, including captain Jerry Jairette, midfielder Nathan Cook and left-back Tayo Adoweru, who all remain sidelined.

“Nathan is still a month away, Jerry is two to three weeks away yet, Tayo came back on Saturday and played 20 minutes but I don’t want to rush him as we need him back in action,” he said.

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