Dean has done it all at Leyton Orient during the last few months of 2017, but he’s doing Brill in latest role
PUBLISHED: 08:00 24 December 2017
Simon O'Connor Photography
Experienced goalkeeper reflects on his eventful couple of weeks after Steve Davis was sacked and the different roles he had during the 2-2 draw with Chester
It is safe to say the last five to six weeks have been more eventful for Dean Brill than most at Leyton Orient, but the 32-year-old has thoroughly enjoyed his time at Brisbane Road so far.
The ex-Luton Town stopper joined the O’s on August 3 as goalkeeper coach after spells with Colchester United and Motherwell without making a competitive appearance.
Brill signed playing forms with Orient, but spent the first three-and-a-half months as purely a coach before Steve Davis was sacked on November 14 following a run of 11 National League games without a win.
From then onwards, the former Inverness Caledonian Thistle goalkeeper has been assistant on an interim basis, spent 45 minutes as manager before being given the number one shirt under new boss Justin Edinburgh. It’s been eventful!
Brill laughed: “It has been crazy. I would have never foreseen that at the start of the season and it was obviously unfortunate Steve leaving and we were all gutted, but these things happen and it’s football and I know that just as much as anyone else.
“With regards to helping Ross Embleton (for the games against Dover Athletic, Chester and Torquay United), I would have done that anyway regardless of what role I would have been given.
“I’m a football person and that’s how I see my role when it comes to coaching. I’m an experienced professional, so I’m passing on what I know.
“That’s why you end up seeing a lot of people going into coaching because as you get older, the experienced people help and that’s how you progress.
“But it’s crazy to think I was goalkeeper coach, then assistant to Ross and then when Ross got sent off I had another title!
“We joke about it, but on the day of the Chester game I coached the warm-up, I was substitute goalkeeper on the bench, I was assistant and then I was on my own at the end.
“I had four different roles in the space of a few hours, but I’m football daft, so any way I can help I’ll do so.”
After assisting Embleton for the home draws with Dover (1-1) and Chester (2-2) and the defeat away to Torquay (3-0), Edinburgh was appointed on November 29.
One of his first major decisions was to give Brill the gloves over youngsters Charlie Grainger and Sam Sargeant for the trip to Solihull Moors on December 2.
The O’s disappointingly lost 1-0, but things have gone well for their experienced goalkeeper and the team since.
Brill went two-and-a-half years without playing competitively, mainly due to dislocating his knee during an Inverness match against Celtic in April 2015, but he seems to be relishing his second lease of life in goal.
He added: “It has been good and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed playing again. I love football and I’m football daft.
“What happened in my career during the last couple of years is unfortunate, but that’s the way it is and I guess I was then fortunate to be given this position in the summer and I’ve thrown everything into it.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed the coaching side of things and I was training alongside it with the brief if ever I was needed, I am young enough and able enough to step in.
“Fortunately for me I’ve been given the chance by the manager in circumstances as a coach I don’t want the team to be in, but that’s where we are at and with regards to both the coaching and playing, I’ll always give 110 per cent to help as much as I can.”
The ex-Oldham Athletic goalkeeper has certainly made a difference and whatever happens from here onwards, he’ll always remember November 21 and the drama which occurred against Chester after interim boss Embleton was sent to the stands.
“It was bizarre and the most bizarre thing was standing there on my own. As a player, if I was a substitute I’m vocal anyway, so I would be shouting on to help my team-mates,” said Brill.
“As a goalkeeper coach, I’d do the same because it is what the manager had asked of me and what Ross asked of me - to have an opinion.
“When I was assistant to Ross, I did the same, but the only thing at the end was I was stood there on my own and I was looking around for someone and the bench looked so empty, so that was probably the most bizarre thing.
“Once I got into it I was just focused on helping the players manage the game in a capacity I would do anyway.”
It’s been eventful, but after helping Orient keep their first clean sheet in the league since August 28 on Saturday with a 2-0 win at Maidstone United, O’s look to have a safe pair of hands in Brill.