Martin Ling pleased to be back at place close to his heart and determined to succeed at Leyton Orient

Martin Ling

Martin Ling - Credit: Archant

The O’s new Director of Football expresses his desire to remain healthy and reveals he will take time before appointing a first-team coach

Martin Ling has expressed his happiness at being back at a club so close to his heart after starting his new role as Director of Football at Leyton Orient this morning.

The former O’s manager and player knew he would get the job a while ago, but conceded it was surreal returning to Brisbane Road today.

Ling was the first appointment of the Nigel Travis era, after the Orient fan purchased the club off Francesco Becchetti yesterday.

And the 50-year-old is excited to get to work and help the east Londoners return to where they belong in the long-run.


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“It was a bit surreal to start with. I knew a while ago that the job would be mine if the consortium got the club, so I had a little bit of time to get my head around it,” said Ling.

“But walking back through the building and (secretary) Lindsey opening the car park for me and walking back in and sitting in the same office was a bit surreal.

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“It has sunk in and I am really pleased to be back at a place I know so well and of course is close to my heart.”

One of the main tasks for Ling is to appoint a new first-team coach, but he insists it won’t be a decision he rushes into.

The Orient Director of Football plans to interview five or six people about the role after seeing who applies for it.

He revealed O’s will start pre-season training on July 3 and it won’t be a bad thing if nobody is appointed by then, as long as the right person comes in.

“It will take as long as the process takes, but I have got a few people in mind and in the same breath I want to advertise the role to see what people come in and I will probably go through a process of interviewing five or six people and then I will pick the right person,” said Ling.

“I can’t see somebody being in place for the first day of pre-season training, but that is not a problem because it is only in 10 days time.

“We will have a coach coming into the building and a couple of people like a fitness coach and a physio and them things will be put in place.

“The bee all and end all is we want to put the right pegs in the right holes and if it means the manager or first-team coach is the last peg then it doesn’t matter because it is about putting the right peg in the right hole.

“If it takes a little bit longer to complete then so be it, but I won’t put a timescale on it because I just want to bring in the right person.

“Obviously I know the sooner we get it done the better, but no decision that is made by rushing into it or that happens without being thought about properly tends to be a decision you regret, so we will do as I explained.”

Ling’s last official role in football was as manager of Swindon Town, but he resigned in December 2015 due to health reasons.

The former Orient boss has bravely spoken about having depression in the past, although will be doing everything possible to ensure he remains happy at Brisbane Road.

“I have had depression and people know that, but today and for I don’t know how long – maybe 18 months – I have been feeling fine,” said Ling.

“I think this role has a little bit less stress than the actual management, which may be a cause for my illness or may not, but if I had cancer I could still work.

“I haven’t got cancer. I have mental health issues, but I can still work and today I feel great and long may that continue. I will give everything for me to stay well because it will mean I am working at a place I love.”

Travis was always going to be popular after buying Orient, but making the decision to bring Ling back has only increased the warm feeling towards the new chairman.

On paper this seems the perfect role for Ling, the last person to win a promotion as O’s boss, and his experience and knowledge of the game means he appears the best person to try and ensure the good times come back to Brisbane Road.

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