Jobi McAnuff keen to bring the best out of Leyton Orient’s kids after helping them in the past
PUBLISHED: 14:00 14 September 2017
Simon O'Connor Photography
Winger training with the youth-team during his previous spell at the club and has been encouraged by their development over the last couple of years
Jobi McAnuff wants to play his part in developing Leyton Orient youngsters and at the same time prove he is still enough good enough to compete.
The 35-year-old has been a rare bright note for O’s over the last two games, as they lost away to Boreham Wood and at home to Halifax Town.
Steve Davis has used a handful of academy graduates in those defeats and McAnuff is confident they’ll continue to improve.
“A big factor in me coming back was the youngsters,” said the winger, who was forced to train with the academy during the start of the 2015/16 season.
“I feel I have a little bit of time left in me, although I am 35 so I still need to prove I am capable, which I did last year and I really enjoyed it.
“But a big factor in me coming back was the fact I knew the younger lads and in my difficult time I tried to make it as positive as I could for myself and I would like to think I helped a few of them along the way with bits and bobs.
“I was obviously training with them every day for a little while, so it was nice to come back and see them and how they are developing now.
“It is great to see how much they have kicked on and that they are looking to play first-team football now because before they were knocking about in the youth-team.
“Part of the process for me now is to help them and guide them and the other senior lads will do as well, so that’ll continue and we have some really talented lads, so it is just about bringing it all out.”
With the current Orient first-team squad nursing some injuries, the younger members at Brisbane Road are set to get more chances over the next couple of weeks.
Michael Clark, 20, started on Tuesday night against Halifax, while 18-year-old Henry Ochieng played 52 minutes at Boreham Wood.
Josh Koroma has been used off the bench by Davis regularly and also made two starts for O’s this season.
McAnuff could see the talent the attacker had during his previous spell with Orient and has enjoyed watching his growth.
He added: “Josh is one I have been pretty keen to work with and one I enjoyed working with before because I could see his ability.
“Tristan (Abrahams) was the same and there is so much talent here and it is just about getting the right things out of them, but they really want to take it on board, which is great.
“I think all of the youngsters obviously appreciate the advice, but don’t get me wrong they have got to be their own player as well because they are making their own way in the game.
“They are taking things on board and they will learn and I benefited from having experience around me when I was that age, so for me to try and pass on a bit of that is a given.”
McAnuff didn’t make the best of starts after rejoining Orient, but appears to be getting up to speed now.
If he can continue to perform consistently over the coming months then the club will not only benefit from his experience off the pitch, but on it too.