Leyton Orient ‘getting closer’ to finalising squad admits head coach Steve Davis

Leyton Orient's Steven Alzate tries to get back to tackle Greenwich Borough's Malachi Hudson (pic: D

Leyton Orient's Steven Alzate tries to get back to tackle Greenwich Borough's Malachi Hudson (pic: Dave Adkins). - Credit: Archant

Head coach explains reason behind letting trialist winger Josh Taylor leave

Leyton Orient head coach Steve Davis is close to having his squad for the new National League campaign finalised.

The O’s signed Jobi McAnuff and Rommy Boco at the end of last week to make it 11 new additions this summer.

Ex-Swindon Town centre back Jamie Sendles-White is understood to still be on trial at Orient and Davis is keen to bring in another defender.

He said: “We are getting closer to having a settled squad. I think we are still looking for another centre half because we are short there.

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“I think we need another older head, but not a George (Elokobi), more like someone who is mid-to-late twenties.

“We want someone that has played a lot of games and that knows the league and who could play a little bit higher as well just so we have a bit more experience, as that’s crucial we get someone like that in.

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“We could have loaned someone, but it fell through. We were waiting for them to come back from a trip abroad, but that fell through, so we are looking at other options now.

“Hopefully we can get that type of player in quickly, but in other positions I feel Rommy can play several positions behind the nine, so we don’t particularly need a 10 or 11 now we have him.

“As I say we will have a look at things and it could depend on how many injury set-backs we have before the start of the season and of course we can go down the loan market if we need to.”

One person not joining Orient is winger Josh Taylor after the club revealed last week he had left following a trial period.

Taylor impressed during his one appearance for the O’s at Harlow Town – finding the net twice in a 6-1 victory.

But Davis explained why the east London club decided to let him go despite the winger impressing during his trial.

With Josh Koroma, Steven Alzate and Tristan Abrahams all playing in a similar position to Taylor, the Orient head coach was keen not to block their pathway into the first-team.

Davis added: “Josh Taylor was here when I came into the club and I got the opportunity to look at him for about three training sessions and then during the game at Harlow.

“He is 22 and we have lads here who are 18 and 19 and they are our own and they could potentially be better in three or four years time when they reach Josh’s current age or even before that.

“I think in 12 or 18 months time our lads will be beyond the level Josh is at and I knew Jobi was coming in as well, but if I had signed somebody like Josh it would have blocked a pathway for one of our three who play up there.

“Koroma, Alzate and Abrahams can all slot into that area, so that was the reason behind the decision to let Josh go.

“But from his point of view I don’t think he could have done any more in terms of the trial and I told him that. At 22 you need to play regular football and we couldn’t offer him that at Orient.”

Taylor is now on trial at O’s National League rivals Sutton United and scored in their 5-2 friendly win over Havant & Waterlooville on Saturday.

Although the winger is undoubtedly talented, it speaks volumes about Koroma, Alzate and Abrahams that Davis would rather give those three a chance over signing another young wide-man.

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