Cowley backs Woodyard for contract

Danny Cowley is manager of Braintree Town (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO).

Danny Cowley is manager of Braintree Town (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO). - Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO

Midfielder, reportedly on trial with Leyton Orient, has been praised by his former manager

Braintree Town manager Danny Cowley feels Alex Woodyard, who is believed to be on trial with Leyton Orient, has all the attributes to succeed as a professional footballer.

The O’s played the Iron last Friday in a pre-season match at the Amlin Stadium and suffered a 2-1 defeat to the National League outfit.

Although the League Two club wouldn’t confirm if Woodyard played in that match for them, Cowley has insisted he did and revealed he is on trial with the Brisbane Road side.

Cowley managed Woodyard at Concord Rangers last season and had the former Southend United midfielder train with Braintree earlier in the summer.

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When he spoke to BBC Essex after his team beat Orient 2-1, he backed the youngster to earn himself a contract with the O’s under Ian Hendon.

“The plan was always for Alex to go to Orient, he has had keen interest from Colchester as well,” said Cowley.

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“He came to training with us for a week because we came back a little bit earlier than Leyton Orient and it gave him a head start.

“We obviously have a great relationship with Alex and we think a lot of him. He was a fantastic player for us last year at Concord.

“But we really hope he gets something at Leyton Orient because for me he has got all the qualities to be a fantastic football league player.”

Cowley went on to admit it was a strange scenario for him on Friday with Woodyard supposedly lining up for the O’s as a trialist against Braintree.

The midfielder was a key component in Concord’s team last year in the Conference South and his displays earned him an England C call-up in June.

Woodyard made 15 appearances at Southend earlier in his career, after progressing through their youth ranks, and could now be set for another opportunity to establish himself in the Football League.

Cowley added: “I said to him before the match it is funny when you set up against opposing teams when they have one of your ex players in and especially Alex.

“It was funny watching him playing against us. I was just pleased he didn’t kick too many of our players!

“Mind you Taylor Miles came on and played with the bit between his teeth and he said he had been learning from ‘Woody.’ I thought Alex did well, though, and he did himself no harm whatsoever.”

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