Leyton Orient blog: It feels great to be a fan of a wonderful community club again
- Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo
Sam Churchett gives his thoughts on events taking place this summer at Brisbane Road
One month on since the takeover of Leyton Orient Football Club by life-long fan Nigel Travis and Texan Kent Teague and the club is beginning to feel much more like its old self and even a better version of what it once was.
Players arrivals have come thick and fast as the squad starts to take shape and the basis of a starting XI is beginning to reveal itself with Steve Davis naming a strong starting eleven and admitting Billericay Town offered the last real chance to test his side before the start of the season.
It’s hard not to imagine that the team who started on Saturday won’t more than likely be the same eleven who will kick off the new campaign this weekend.
Orient’s new manager had previously commented on the selected opposition for pre-season maybe not providing the right tests for his new side.
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With the team’s 5-1 home defeat to Arsenal under-23s alongside their 10-0 thrashing of Burnham Ramblers, you can’t help but wonder if the squad are a little under prepared for the season opener.
Following Monday’s announcements of the sales of Steven Alzate and Tristan Abrahams to Premier League new boys Brighton & Hove Albion and Championship side Norwich City respectively, there was understandably a mixed reaction from the E10 faithful.
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I personally can understand both sides of the argument. Whilst I would have loved to have seen both players enjoy a season the likes of which Moses Odubajo had before moving on to bigger things, I can understand that now more than ever the funds to rebuild the squad are vital.
If losing two promising youngsters means the chance to bring in one or two commanding players or much needed loans at the right time of the season, then it may be a sacrifice worth making. Only time will tell.
Although Martin Ling did at least suggest there could be sell-on fees should the players attract a sum from a future transfer. Something that could prove to be a very profitable stipulation of the transfers should one or both of the players hit the heights of a Harry Kane in future, especially considering the huge sums of money that are being thrown around the Premier League these days.
With the departure of Alzate and Abrahams, the latter of which will split his focus between time on loan at Orient and linking up with the Norwich under-23 squad, the O’s do look a little light up front with Macauley Bonne in fine form during pre-season, but still being a young player himself at 21-years-old.
Whilst the fans are being asked for patience and to likely expect mid-table mediocrity this season, you do feel that another experienced striker, to take the burden off of the youngsters and support David Mooney, could be essential if the O’s wish to break into the top seven and extend their season past the end of April.
As the leagues new boys and being branded a big fish in a little pond, though many Orient fans are hesitant to see it that way, the powers that be have decided to select the east Londoners for three live matches in the next three months.
Whilst this helps bring funds into the club, the attention on the club does add extra pressure to perform and no doubt the TV bosses will be hoping for a couple of scalps to create some drama.
In some ways, I would rather we were allowed to quietly go about settling into the league and creep our way up the table with a few points here and there.
Unfortunately, there will be envious fans and teams alike who will deem the focus on East London to be unfair and who will want for nothing more than to embarrass the O’s live on BT Sport.
Results and table positions aside, the past month has seen a successful Open Day for the club, record breaking season ticket sales, promising signings and a daily social media onslaught.
In such a short space of time, Leyton Orient Football Club has transformed from a neglected hollow shell under dark clouds into a vibrant and energetic club, radiating positivity and reminding fans what it felt like to enjoy supporting their team.
Speaking to a good friend and Oldham Athletic supporter, he admitted that the family season tickets we offer, and the way in which fans are encouraged to get involved with their club and the fantastic match day packages the O’s offer, he wished his club did.
He also admitted he wished the Latics did half as much to engage with their fans. We truly support a wonderful community club.
Whatever this season brings, the fans can be assured there are going to be some enjoyable times ahead with a rocking Brisbane Road atmosphere and a club united.
And just remember when we go one or two nil down how things could have turned out had the consortium not arrived, and with the pride of just being able to call yourself a Leyton Orient fan, sing a little louder and celebrate the part you continue to play in keeping this great club alive.
Up The O’s!