Myles Judd ‘learned so much’ during difficult breakthrough campaign at Leyton Orient
- Credit: Archant
Young full-back has yet to make an appearance this season, but surely deserves a chance this weekend at Barrow
After Jake Caprice pulled up with an injury last night at Tranmere Rovers, the time is right for Leyton Orient boss Steve Davis to turn to Myles Judd.
The 18-year-old came out with the most credit during a terrible 2016/17 campaign, which saw O’s finish bottom of League Two.
Judd, despite his young age, showed bravery and passion during some of Orient’s darkest times and Davis could do with more of that in his starting XI.
With Caprice going off with a hamstring problem at Prenton Park, it seems unlikely the ex-Woking man will recover in time for Saturday’s match.
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It now presents Judd with an opportunity and he feels the experience of last season has benefited him.
When speaking in August about his introduction into the first-team when O’s were struggling in November, he said: “It was a blessing in disguise for me.
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“It was hard, but obviously it gave me a chance to show what I could do, so even though it wasn’t the best of circumstances it was a blessing for me.
“I learned so much. It is a big change going from the youth-team into the first-team, so I had to get used to it initially, but hopefully I can take what I learned into this season.”
Judd made 21 appearances in all competitions for O’s last term and in spite of some tough games personally, he responded positively to every challenge he faced.
A back injury, however, saw the academy graduate miss out on playing in Orient’s final seven fixtures in League Two.
Even though Orient were virtually relegated at that point, he was gutted he couldn’t play his part in trying to save them.
“I got the back injury about a month before the end of the season and it was really frustrating,” said Judd.
“I just wanted to stay in the team and try and keep us up, but it was so disappointing to have to sit it out.”
Alberto Cavasin actually gave Judd his chance in the first-team last season, although the full-back made his debut as a 16-year-old in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy under Ian Hendon at Luton Town (September 2015).
Once the right-back was used at Brighton & Hove Albion under-23s in November, he never looked back.
Andy Edwards was the manager to really place his trust in Judd initially with the defender making seven starts under the former O’s Academy Director.
When Danny Webb was promoted from assistant at the end of January, he also kept faith with the teen and he was rewarded with some assured displays.
Judd added: “Andy, Danny and (former academy manager) Richard Thomas as well have all been so helpful in my career.
“Ever since I was part of the under-11s at Orient, they have really helped me develop a lot as a player.
“It was really good (to have Edwards in charge) because I had been with him for a long time and he knew what I could do.
“He put his trust in me and I am guessing he did that because he knew about my ability, so that was really pleasing.”
Edwards and Webb had faith in Judd and you imagine Omer Riza would have played the defender as well had he been fit at the end of last season.
The right-back showed his worth in League Two and must get a chance on Saturday at Barrow with O’s in desperate need of some more youth exuberance.