Clapton’s Nurse positive about year ahead after encouraging pre-season

PUBLISHED: 17:00 15 July 2015

Clapton players look downbeat after losing the 2014/15 Gordon Brasted Memorial Trophy Final to Barking in May (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Clapton players look downbeat after losing the 2014/15 Gordon Brasted Memorial Trophy Final to Barking in May (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO c/o 27 Plaiters Way, Braintree, Essex, CM7 3LR - Editorial Use ONLY - FA Premier League and Football League images are subject to DataCo Licencing restrictions

Tons number two discusses summer for the club and himself as well as opening fixtures of the new campaign

Clapton assistant manager Marc Nurse is extremely confident about the new Essex Senior League campaign after a successful pre-season thus far.

The Old Spotted Dog outfit played their first match of the summer on Saturday and defeated Laindon Orient 6-0.

It was Clapton’s first game since losing the Essex Senior League Cup final 7-1 to Bowers and boss Michael Walther and number two Nurse are in positive mood.

The duo have been impressed with how quickly the new players have gelled with the squad retained from last season and another successful campaign is on the horizon for the Tons.

Nurse said: “It was a mixture of trialists and last season’s squad at Laindon Orient.

“We decided to mix it all together and it seemed to work. It has been a very successful pre-season in terms of the players we have brought into the club.

“We have got much more quality this year and we have introduced the new players to the squad of last season and they are all gelling really quickly with each other.”

Nurse couldn’t actually attend last weekend’s fixture, but heard all about the emphatic win.

He had a valid excuse for not being at the game, however, as partner Keely Moore was giving birth to son Theo.

Mother and baby are both well and will be looking to support Clapton when the season gets underway, as Tons continued their plans against Ryman North side Romford at the Old Spotted Dog last night - suffering a 1-0 defeat.

This weekend they travel to Spartan South Midlands Premier Division outfit Cockfosters for their third friendly fixture of the summer.

Tons have plenty more penned in and Nurse is confident a packed schedule will result in a strong start to the domestic campaign.

Clapton have an extra preliminary round clash in the FA Cup against Thurlow Nunn side Stanway Rovers at the Old Spotted Dog on August 15.

“We have all got to get used to travelling away depending on the cup games we get or long league fixtures we have,” added Nurse.

“I think going to Cockfosters will be good preparation for that and last season we struggled on Saturdays. We did well in midweek games, but come Saturday we seemed to be a little bit flat.

“This year we need to get that right. You would think it would be the other way round and the boys would prefer playing Saturday compared to midweek, but they enjoy playing those night games.”

Clapton entertain Croydon, of the Southern Counties East League, next Tuesday (July 21) as their preparations for the new Essex Senior League season continue.

Their first two league fixtures were revealed recently and Tons travel to Basildon on the opening day of the season (August 8), before hosting Eton Manor on August 11.

Last season Basildon finished 12th, while Eton Manor were 14th compared to Clapton’s eighth place finish – the best they have ever achieved in this division.

Nurse hopes they show their class in those matches and also revealed why he and manager Walther are happy with the games.

“I quite like the opening fixture because I live in Basildon, so it is perfect for me,” said Nurse.

“Mike lives in Canvey as well so it is a nice one for us. Basildon have improved their squad by adding a number of players over the summer, but so have we.

“Hopefully the gap between ourselves and them from last year is still there and we can show our quality in that opening clash.”

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