Leyton Orient youngsters have bright futures insists manager Omer Riza

Leyton Orient players Sam Dalby (left) and Michael Clark (right) go over to the travelling support a

Leyton Orient players Sam Dalby (left) and Michael Clark (right) go over to the travelling support at the end of the match with Blackpool (pic: Alex Dodd). - Credit: CameraSport - Alex Dodd

Several of Orient’s teenagers have impressed despite being unable to prevent the club suffering relegation

Leyton Orient boss Omer Riza believes the crop of young players at the club can enjoy bright futures despite a tough start to their professional careers.

The O’s ended their League Two campaign with a 3-1 defeat at Blackpool on Saturday and their starting XI included six teenagers.

Sandro Semedo and Freddy Moncur were also involved from the off and they only turned 20 this season.

Orient have used current academy players or graduates a lot over the last two months, but Riza hopes it will make them stronger.


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He said: “I think the youngsters have handled relegation well, but nobody really knows because it is not like we have psychologists at the club who talk to them on a regular basis.

“Of course it is tough, but I think they are old enough to understand the situation and what they have gone through this year.

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“This will make them stronger and they have had a lot of games, which will be good for them going forward, so for me it has all been a positive.”

With no plans put in place yet for next season, Riza expressed his ambition to keep all the youngsters at the club.

The ex-Arsenal striker is also well aware of the need to bring in several players with more experience.

Orient are set to lose virtually all of their senior players this summer either due to their contracts expiring or relegation release clauses allowing them to leave for free.

“I don’t want the youngsters to go anywhere, but they do need senior players around then and we need a total rebuild of the squad,” said Riza.

“A lot of our older players have their contracts up at the end of the season or clauses which allows them to decide if they stay or go, but I feel the young lads have bright futures.”

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