John Mackie excited to see Leyton Orient fans at Greenwich Borough, but wants to beat the O’s!

John Mackie (red) shakes hands with Gary Alexander before the pair do battle at Leyton Orient's Bris

John Mackie (red) shakes hands with Gary Alexander before the pair do battle at Leyton Orient's Brisbane Road during a Play With A Legend match in 2016 (pic: Play With A Legend). - Credit: Archant

Steve Davis will take his O’s team to Badgers Sports Ground to face Gary Alexander and Mackie’s Borough

Leyton Orient's John Mackie consoles Oxford's Steve Basham after O's win promotion to League One in

Leyton Orient's John Mackie consoles Oxford's Steve Basham after O's win promotion to League One in May 2006 (pic: Chris Young/PA Images). - Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

Greenwich Borough assistant manager John Mackie is excited to play host to Leyton Orient this weekend at the DGS Stadium.

The 41-year-old spent four seasons at Brisbane Road as a player and captained the O’s to promotion to League One in 2006.

Greenwich are managed by Orient’s old forward Gary Alexander and held an XI from the east London club to a 2-2 draw on August 2 last year.

Mackie is looking forward to playing the first-team this time around and hoping to see a big crowd.

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“Last season was a last minute thing and Andy Hessenthaler was in charge I think and somebody they were meant to play dropped out,” said the ex-O’s captain.

“We had a spare Tuesday night free, so we only arranged it on the Saturday before and we didn’t get a chance to promote it really.

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“In the end it was only an Orient XI as well, but as soon as Martin (Ling) got the Director of Football job he texted me and said he would send everyone to us, so we really appreciate that.

“Hopefully we can see a big crowd and people have been asking us where the nearest station is and things like that which suggests we will get a few over.

“It is a good chance for us to show the O’s fans what Greenwich Borough is all about and for them to see the new Orient team as well.”

Alexander and Mackie’s team played Charlton Athletic last weekend and despite doing well for certain periods, they suffered a 4-0 loss.

But the competitiveness of the pair means they are looking to beat Orient ahead of another promotion push for the Eltham-based club in the Isthmian South.

Mackie added: “We played Charlton last weekend and they brought a very strong team, but we did well in spells.

“For some phases you couldn’t tell there were five divisions between the two sides, but their fitness showed in the end.

“We want to play the way we know we can on Saturday and it is pre-season, so improving our fitness is key, but we want to win.

“If we can get a winning habit now it will help us for when we start in the league, although I know Orient will be thinking the same, so it should be a good game.”

Saturday’s game will mark the one-month anniversary since Nigel Travis and Kent Teague purchased the club off Francesco Becchetti.

Mackie is overjoyed to see so much positivity surrounding the Brisbane Road outfit and excited about the O’s future.

He added: “The last few weeks have been great. Obviously last season was terrible on and off the pitch and ended with relegation, which was hard to take, but thank god it is finally over.

“A lot of my information about Orient comes from fans who I see at the stall or through twitter and it has been so good to see so many positive tweets and no more negativity.

“It is great to see the club back in what appears good hands and success is not going to happen overnight, but hopefully the good times can return again soon.”

Orient will continue their preparations for the new season by testing themselves up against Alexander and Mackie’s Greenwich tomorrow and it should prove to be a great occasion for all involved.

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