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East Thurrock United boss John Coventry happy to help develop Leyton Orient kids

PUBLISHED: 15:00 08 February 2018

Michael Clark, on-loan at East Thurrock United from Leyton Orient, tries to block a shot from Rhys Murrell-Williamson (right) of St Albans City (pic: Leigh Page).

Michael Clark, on-loan at East Thurrock United from Leyton Orient, tries to block a shot from Rhys Murrell-Williamson (right) of St Albans City (pic: Leigh Page).

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The Rocks have two players at the heart of their defence right now who are contracted to the National League club

Marvin Ekpiteta (centre, purple kit) in action for East Thurrock United at St Albans City (pic: Leigh Page). Marvin Ekpiteta (centre, purple kit) in action for East Thurrock United at St Albans City (pic: Leigh Page).

John Coventry is proud East Thurrock United are playing their part in helping develop some of Leyton Orient’s younger players in the National League South.

The O’s recently signed Rocks centre back Marvin Ekpiteta, but loaned the 22-year-old back out on loan to the Essex club.

Orient youngster Michael Clark is already with East Thurrock on loan, having enjoyed a spell there last season, and Coventry is pleased to offer a helping hand to the Brisbane Road club.

He said: “It would be really good if they could go back and do well for Orient next season, but we are just happy to help them and see them develop.

“You hear some bad stories about under-23 football and players not progressing as much as they should at some professional clubs, so I’m pleased we are doing a small part for these lads.”

Clark has been with East Thurrock for six weeks now and settled back in after doing well for the National League South club last season.

The teenage defender went to the Rocks during the first-half of the 2016/17 campaign and his performances saw him return to O’s and debut in League Two.

It was a bad season for the club with Orient suffering relegation, but Clark did enough to earn a maiden professional contract.

Coventry added: “We took ‘Clarky’ on loan last season and I didn’t know a great deal about him, but he came in and did exceptionally well for us.

“He was a big part of the success we had alongside another one of our centre backs (Joe Ellul) and I think he just really enjoyed playing men’s football.

“When he returned to Orient, I know they were not having the best of times, but I heard good things about him and people said he had improved.

“He made his debut and signed his professional contract, so for me that is what it is all about when a young kid comes out on loan, helping them kick on.

“This season ‘Clarky’ has not got the game time he might have wanted and Orient have allowed him to come back to us and again he has done really well.”

After initially joining for a month, Coventry revealed East Thurrock have got the young O’s defender with them for the rest of the campaign now.

He added: “We have an agreement in place to keep ‘Clarky’ until the end of the season so that is good for us to have both him and Marvin.

“When you loan players in for a month you want them to do well, but you do then worry they will be recalled, so it is nice to know we have them for a while now.”

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