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Leyton Orient is a great environment for youngsters to develop and progress, says former player Michael Collins

PUBLISHED: 12:00 25 January 2018

Leyton Orient's Josh Koroma (left) looks to win the ball back from Dagenham & Redbridge's Dan Sparkes (pic: David Simpson/TGS Photo).

Leyton Orient's Josh Koroma (left) looks to win the ball back from Dagenham & Redbridge's Dan Sparkes (pic: David Simpson/TGS Photo).

©TGS Photo tgsphoto.co.uk +44 1376 553468

The Halifax Town midfielder explains why the O’s are producing so many talented young footballers from their academy

Michael Collins shows his frustration while playing for Leyton Orient against Wycombe Wanderers last season (pic: Simon O'Connor). Michael Collins shows his frustration while playing for Leyton Orient against Wycombe Wanderers last season (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Former Leyton Orient midfielder Michael Collins is pleased to see so many of the youngsters at the club developing after working with them last season.

The 31-year-old was expecting to come up against old team-mates Dan Happe, Myles Judd and Josh Koroma last weekend as the O’s travelled to Halifax Town.

Collins, who signed a deal with the Shaymen in December, had been looking forward to seeing some familiar faces on Saturday, but, like many, was left frustrated after the game was postponed.

The experienced midfielder is still highly regarded at Brisbane Road and having made the tough decision to turn down a new contract in June before the current owners were in place, he is delighted to see Orient back on track again after a tough 2017.

“The young lads are at a great club with an understanding fan base that will give them time and it’s a great platform for them to come through at a level where they will get chances as well,” said Collins.

Leyton Orient defender Myles Judd tackles a Grimsby Town opponent with team-mate Michael Collins in close proximity (pic: Simon O'Connor). Leyton Orient defender Myles Judd tackles a Grimsby Town opponent with team-mate Michael Collins in close proximity (pic: Simon O'Connor).

“Sometimes players disappear to the Championship and then go off the radar and they get the odd fleeting appearance out on loan here and there, but there careers kind of dwindle, so I think it is the right thing for those kids to stay at Orient and be playing.

“I have very fond memories of the club despite all the dark times we went through and it is good to see Leyton Orient back on a level playing field and looking like they are about to kick on now.

“It is a great environment for them lads to continue developing and learning and not taking another contract at the club was certainly one of the hardest decisions I have had to make.

“Once I turned it down, was there a part of me that maybe I wouldn’t say regretted it, but thought about what would have happened if I had accepted? Yes, such was the feeling I had for the club.

“But it is great to see them starting to look better and I’d like to see them do well in every game apart from against Halifax!”

Leyton Orient centre back Dan Happe heads clear against Boreham Wood (pic: Simon O'Connor). Leyton Orient centre back Dan Happe heads clear against Boreham Wood (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Collins would have received a warm reception from the O’s fans had Saturday’s game gone ahead.

He was one of the few players to boost their reputation during the difficult 2016/17 campaign and many supporters wanted him to stay at Brisbane Road.

It wasn’t to be, however, but he can take pride from the fact he has helped the progress of Happe, Judd, Koroma and many more youngsters at O’s.

And Collins won’t have to wait to long after all to see some familiar faces with Orient set to visit Halifax next Tuesday (January 30) now.

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