Striker Harrold loved O’s championship winning season despite finding it hard at times

Matt Harrold sweeps home Leyton Orient's second goal against Walsall (pic Simon O'Connor)

Matt Harrold sweeps home Leyton Orient's second goal against Walsall (pic Simon O'Connor) - Credit: Archant

Striker Matt Harrold has fond memories of the 2018/19 season when Leyton Orient were crowned National League champions to return to the Football League after a two-year exile.

The 35-year-old was mainly used from the bench that season but understood his role with the likes of Macaulay Bonne and Josh Koroma in prolific form.

And he revealed how much he loved the season, despite not starting as many games as he was used to or would’ve liked, telling the Essex Charity Cup YouTube channel: “There is only five on the bench in non-league so I had come back from my injury and came off the bench to score a couple goals, but we had Josh Koroma and Macaulay Bonne on fire.

“They were a real good strike partnership. I understood my role in a way, I’d come on and have an impact, but I found myself not even getting on the bench a couple of times and I struggled as I thought I’ve had a long career, I’ve played 400 league games, I’ve achieved quite a lot and yet I’m not getting on the bench in non-league, what’s going on?

“I had a bit of a sit down with myself and said ‘come on, get yourself together, you could have a real impact here’.

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“I had the opportunity to leave and said ‘no chance, I’m staying’ and I think eventually by Christmas he (Justin Edinburgh) could see I was having a big impact in what I wanted to do, and just around the place and my standards every day.

“I loved the way he was and the way he managed, the way he treated everyone like men, and the dressing room was a good room full of good experienced men.

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“It worked out to be a great season. I’d come off the bench and had an impact so much, I kind of felt I found my role with another couple of forwards who were on fire.

“It was such a great time, I’d played my whole career and started a lot of games, but I enjoyed it so much even in that role as I knew I was still important and every day was good fun going in. They don’t get much better than that in terms of how seasons go.

“We had a really good dressing room. We had Jobi McAnuff, obviously such a great guy, great leader, and Charlie Lee was a proper midfielder. Alex Lawless and Josh Coulson, just experience throughout the team, with winners, I could go on forever, mixed with good young players.”

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