Essex Senior League: Clapton manager Jon Fowell targets top-three finish after impressive run of form
PUBLISHED: 12:00 08 November 2016
Tons boss discusses ambition for the season and full of praise for backroom staff at the Old Spotted Dog
Jon Fowell believes Clapton can achieve a top-three finish in the Essex Senior League this season if they can keep their squad together.
The Tons have claimed three impressive victories of late – 1-0 wins at Takeley and Basildon United as well as a 2-0 success at Ilford.
With no midweek fixture to contend with, Fowell was able to reflect on the recent good form of his team.
He said: “We’ve beaten Takeley, Ilford and Basildon and that’s three clubs who could easily be in the top-five.
“After getting nine points against them what is stopping us doing something we’ve not achieved before this season?
“When I say not achieved, I mean not done for a long time like finish in the top-three of this division.
“I’m just trying to build something and if we can with no budget it would be fantastic, but I know it will be hard to keep all of our players.
“I know it won’t be long before the big fish put seven-day approaches in and that is part and parcel of the job.”
Fowell went on to thank Clapton’s vice executive Vince McBean for allowing him to build a competitive squad since his arrival.
Various players departed the Tons after Michael Walther moved to Stansted and it left the current boss with a big rebuilding job.
“It is not about me, it is all about Clapton as a club, the fans and the players and everyone together,” said Fowell.
“Vince has given me a chance. I know the fans don’t see eye-to-eye with him, but I can’t say a bad word against him.
“I can’t fault him because any player I want he gets it done and puts the seven-day approach in which is fantastic.”
One of the people brought in by Fowell has caught the eye lately by conceding just once in his last four matches.
Former Aveley goalkeeper Richie Robins has kept three consecutive clean sheets to help Clapton rise to seventh in the table.
“I think Richie is the best goalkeeper in the division. I haven’t seen better since I took over,” said Fowell.
“He is commanding and sometimes he can improve his kicking, but his reactions and agility is so impressive and for us to win 1-0 at Basildon, especially when you look how far we’ve come, is really pleasing.”
Clapton’s manager was quick to point out the recent good form hasn’t just been achieved because of him.
The former Wimbledon coach hailed the key personnel behind the scenes at the Old Spotted Dog like Andre Thomas, Ray Bartlett and Lizzie Matthews.
Fowell added: “I need to give credit to the backroom staff and the players because they would run through a brickwall for this club and they deserve the praise.”