Leyton Orient’s fitness coach Craig Smith leaves Brisbane Road

Fitness coach Craig Smith (left) has left Leyton Orient (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Fitness coach Craig Smith (left) has left Leyton Orient (pic: Simon O'Connor). - Credit: Archant

After being brought in by previous head coach Ian Hendon last summer, O’s fitness coach has moved on to pastures new

Leyton Orient have confirmed fitness coach Craig Smith has left the club after only joining last summer.

He was brought in by then head coach Ian Hendon alongside physio Peter Webb and served the Brisbane Road club throughout the 2015/16 campaign.

Smith was a popular figure in east London and kept busy with various O’s players suffering bad injuries this year.

Lloyd James and Sammy Moore missed large chunks of the season with Achilles and knee problems respectively, but it was Dean Cox and Paul McCallum who spent plenty of hours with the fitness coach.

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The pair suffered cruciate knee ligament damage and both have praised Smith for his help in getting them back fit again.

Only last week Cox took to Twitter to thank O’s former fitness coach and physio Webb, he said: “This season has been one of the hardest, not being able to play for six months and not being able to help my team mates has been so hard to take.

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“I can’t thank Peter and Craig enough for what they have done for me, they have kept me going when times got really hard. I know I have been a pain in the bum most of the time, but to get from where I was then to where I am today is unbelievable.”

Cox added: “The fans messages throughout my injury have also kept me going so a massive thank you to you all.

“Thank you so much, some days you don’t think you will be getting back, but you guys have made that possible for me and I will never forget it.”

While Smith isn’t as recognisable as the players on the pitch for Orient, he is one of numerous unsung heroes at Brisbane Road.

A statement on the official club website read: “The club can confirm the departure of fitness coach Craig Smith.

“We would like to thank Craig for his service to the club in the past year as well as wishing him all the best for the future.”

Before moving to Orient, Smith had been Northampton Town’s head of sports science for nearly three years – leaving in January 2015.

His departure will be felt by the east Londoners, but he shouldn’t have any trouble finding another job quickly with his pedigree.

“Would just like to thank the fans, staff and players of Leyton Orient for their support during last season. I’m wishing you all the best of luck,” Smith said on Twitter.

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