Keeper Clay­ton to take Swedish chance

Gloucestershire Echo - - BRAIN TEASER -

GOAL­KEEPER Lewis Clay­ton has been play­ing for Bishop’s Cleeve in the Hel­lenic League Premier Di­vi­sion and work­ing as a scaf­folder since be­ing re­leased by Chel­tenham Town at the end of last sea­son.

The 19-year-old has been in out­stand­ing form for the Kayte Lane club and he is boss Steve Cleal’s vice cap­tain, but on March 18, he will de­part for a new chal­lenge in Swe­den with fourth tier club IFK Mora.

How did the op­por­tu­nity to move to Swe­den come about?

I AP­PLIED through the League Foot­ball Ed­u­ca­tion on the off chance and I sent in­di­vid­ual clips of me off to them.

Within a few days I had a call from the LFE say­ing IFK Mora would love me to come over to Swe­den.

I will be train­ing four times a week and at first I didn’t re­alise how good the op­por­tu­nity is.

They are pro­vid­ing my flights, ac­com­mo­da­tion, food and trans­port and also pay­ing me a wage weekly.

Can you sum­marise what you’ve done since leav­ing Chel­tenham Town, on and off the pitch?

I’VE been work­ing hard with Cleeve and there’s such a dif­fer­ence ac­tu­ally play­ing for a league or pro­mo­tion rather than youth team foot­ball play­ing each week for fun.

Ev­ery game we treat as a cup fi­nal and the morale at Cleeve is just ex­cep­tional.

We are a tight group and we all be­lieve we have some­thing spe­cial this sea­son.

How proud have you been to cap­tain Bishop’s Cleeve this sea­son?

OF course I’m very proud to cap­tain my home side and wind up a few of the boys that I am skip­per at times, but as soon as the gloves are on and we step onto that pitch the only fo­cus is three points.

Was it a hard de­ci­sion to leave them a cou­ple of months be­fore the end of what could be a pro­mo­tion win­ning sea­son?

YES it’s very hard to make a de­ci­sion to leave Cleeve early in our ‘bounce back’ cam­paign, but my dream of be­ing a pro­fes­sional foot­baller is still the first thing on my mind.

I have had such good sup­port from my staff at a Cleeve re­gard­ing mov­ing over to Swe­den.

Steve (Cleal), Matt (Jeynes) and Alex (Lums­den) have all backed me and have had so much un­der­stand­ing of why I am go­ing.

It’s not be­cause I want to leave it’s be­cause I want to try and ex­e­cute a dream and they to­tally un­der­stand that.

How con­fi­dent are you of mak­ing it in the pro game?

I AM con­fi­dent that i will make it pro in the game, just be­cause I didn’t make it as a 18-year-old does not mean I can’t make it in the next few years.

I do truly be­lieve I’ve got the abil­ity and at times at­ti­tude has let me down, but I think my time at Cleeve has ma­tured me as a per-

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Lewis Clay­ton

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