Essex Senior League: Andre Thomas delighted to play his part in Clapton’s ‘incredible year’

PUBLISHED: 12:00 19 January 2017

Clapton manager Jon Fowell and assistant Andre Thomas look on (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Clapton manager Jon Fowell and assistant Andre Thomas look on (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo +44 1376 553468

Andre Thomas discuss the past 12 months and looks ahead to the future in our ‘Year in Sport’ pull-out this week

It is safe to say 2016 will live long in the memory of Clapton supporters old and new and one person at the heartbeat of the success, believes this current year may also prove to be special.

Andre Thomas has witnessed a lot at the Old Spotted Dog and feels the present Tons squad have unfinished business.

Clapton are third in the Essex Senior League table with 12 fixtures remaining and despite Barking being overwhelming favourites to claim the title, the race to finish first isn’t over yet.

But Tons can look back on 2016 with great pleasure having won the Gordon Brasted Memorial Trophy in May – their first piece of silverware since 1989.

Thomas said: “It has been an incredible year that’s had ups and downs, but the lows have made the highs that little bit sweeter.

“We went on a great run to finish the 2015/2016 season with our highest points tally to date, 67, to come seventh and also win some silverware.

“Since then all four goalscorers in the 4-0 cup final win over Stansted have left, including the winning manager Mike Walther.”

Roddy Lemba, Warren Mfula, Miles Hunter and Euan Taylor-Reid netted for Clapton to down the Airportmen on May 1.

A couple of months later Walther departed to join Stansted as their assistant manager and Jon Fowell took over at Tons.

Thomas did have a couple of games in temporary charge of Clapton, however, and has learnt a lot over the past year.

“After Mike’s departure I had a stint as interim manager and won my fair share before Jon took over the reins,” he said.

“2016 saw a few club heroes leave as new players came in trying to become new club heroes and our current league position shows it.

“We’ve had a blast from the past with some ex-Tons coming back to help and it seems like it is unfinished business for them.”

It certainly looks that way and with Clapton on 61 points, they look certain to set another record total and it may be enough to pip Barking to the title.

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