Leyton Orient’s Sam Ling wants bragging over Eastleigh’s Andy Hessenthaler and Paul McCallum

James Brophy (left) is hugged by Leyton Orient team-mate Ebou Adams while Macauley Bonne, Dan Holman

James Brophy (left) is hugged by Leyton Orient team-mate Ebou Adams while Macauley Bonne, Dan Holman and Sam Ling celebrate after equalising against Ebbsfleet United (pic: Simon O'Connor). - Credit: Archant

The right-back worked under the Spitfires boss at Brisbane Road and played with Paul McCallum during the 2015/16 season

Leyton Orient defender Sam Ling is looking forward to seeing two familiar faces on Saturday at Eastleigh, but come 3pm his focus will be strictly on winning the game.

The Brisbane Road club make the trip to Hampshire to take on a Spitfires team managed by former Orient boss Andy Hessenthaler.

Also in the Eastleigh squad is O’s top goalscorer from last season Paul McCallum and Ling worked with both of them during the 2015/16 campaign.

Saturday will not be the first time the 21-year-old has faced the duo after visiting Ten Acres on August 12 with Dagenham & Redbridge and claiming a 2-2 draw.


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Hessenthaler was only assistant at the time, but when Eastleigh visited Victoria Road on December 23, he was the manager and led his team to a 2-1 victory, with McCallum scoring twice.

Ling started both encounters and now he is at O’s, he is determined to get bragging rights against two of his former colleagues.

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“I played against Eastleigh earlier in the season and ‘Hessy’ has always been a good coach, and I enjoyed working under him,” said the full-back.

“Paul is an absolute handful of a striker to play against too, so it will be good to see them both, but when it comes down to it and after the first whistle it is business and we have to get the three points.”

While Hessenthaler and McCallum have left Brisbane Road in recent times, Ling has returned and he has been overwhelmed with the support he has received from the O’s fans.

Although hopes of a promotion challenge this season faded a long time ago, the club are already in the process of planning for the 2018/19 National League campaign.

The signing of Ling was a part of that and he will hope to play a big role in helping Orient return to the Football League some time soon.

After finally making his O’s home debut on Saturday, during the 1-1 draw with Ebbsfleet United, the former youth-team player feels he still has a lot more to offer to his new side.

Ling said: “I just feel like I’ve always got more to come and now I’m starting to settle I can prove to the supporters why I am back here.

“The support of the fans has been unreal since I signed and I hope they continue that support to get the best out of me because I’ll always give the best for this club to get it back where it belongs.”

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