Keeper Clayton to take Swedish chance
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-