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Essex Senior League: Clapton, Hackney Wick seek happier times this year after finishing 2017 on a low note

PUBLISHED: 16:00 18 January 2018

Action from the match between Hackney Wick and Clapton (pic Tim Edwards)

Action from the match between Hackney Wick and Clapton (pic Tim Edwards)

Archant

In an article from our ‘Year in Sport’ pull-out, we look back on the changes at our two Old Spotted Dog clubs in 2017 and what the future holds

Clapton and Hackney Wick will both be hoping to enjoy success in 2018 after finishing last year in difficult circumstances.

The Tons continue to achieve on the pitch, but off it there remains tension between the Ultras and the club’s board and during the past 12 months several favourite players of the fans have left the Old Spotted Dog.

Assistant Andre Thomas made the switch to Barking in October after he was demoted to first-team coach at Clapton, while Jerry Jairette, who had a testimonial last summer, exited in December.

Both played a key part as the Tons finished second in the Essex Senior League during the 2016/17 campaign with a record points total of 92 – eight behind eventual champions Barking.

Manager Jonny Fowell is still at the club and has brought in the likes of Wayne Seal and Colin Reid to help out with coaching and on the pitch things are still going well for Clapton.

Tons find themselves in the top six, although a title challenge is all but over due to Redbridge’s impressive form, but one of the main aims for this year will be getting the fans back.

Clapton have seen attendance figures drop this season due to the supporters boycotting games at the Old Spotted Dog and if the team is to achieve glory on the pitch, the ongoing feud between the Ultras and the board needs to come to an end.

Hackney Wick endured a bad finish to 2017 and have already gone through three different managers during this historic campaign for the club.

Last summer saw Middlesex County League outfit Wick, owned by Bobby Kasanga, merge with London Bari, of the Essex Senior League, to form a new side competing in the ESL.

Former Bari boss Chris Davis was kept on as manager, after leading the Old Spotted Dog side to a 17th- placed finish during the 2016/17 campaign, but he soon left by mutual consent.

Tolga Dervish replaced Davis, but he didn’t last long either and Tony Ievoli was the latest man tasked with taking Wick up the table and away from the bottom.

Ievoli has plenty of previous experience in the division having managed the likes of Wadham Lodge and Haringey & Waltham, now known as Woodford Town 2017, in recent seasons.

And the ex-Brentwood Town boss appeared the right man to help Wick stabilise, but he left by mutual consent on Monday and the Londoners are now hoping their fourth manager of the season will prove to be a success.

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