‘Natural leader’ Robbie Weir is delighted to be Leyton Orient skipper

Leyton Orient captain Robbie Weir knocks the ball forward against Charlton Athletic. Pic: TIM REDER

Leyton Orient captain Robbie Weir knocks the ball forward against Charlton Athletic. Pic: TIM REDER - Credit: Archant

Ex-Burton Albion midfielder believes the O’s fitness levels are nearly where they should be ahead of Gillingham friendly

Robbie Weir was announced as Leyton Orient’s first-team captain for the 2016/17 campaign on Friday and the Northern Irish midfielder admits it is a great honour.

The O’s also revealed Liam Kelly would be vice-skipper and Nicky Hunt has been named as the club captain at Brisbane Road.

Hunt’s role is likely to see him represent the east Londoners at community events, but Weir will lead the team on the pitch.

The 27-year-old led his team out for the first time at Brisbane Road on Saturday and impressed during their goalless draw with Charlton Athletic.

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He started on the bench at Dagenham & Redbridge on Tuesday, but was introduced in the second half and played his part as goals from Armand Gnanduillet and a last-gasp header by Paul McCallum handed Andy Hessenthaler’s side a 2-1 win.

“I’ve had a few games as skipper at Burton Albion, but I’ve not been named captain so this is something myself and my family are very proud of, especially at a massive club like Leyton Orient,” said Weir.

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“Leadership is just something I have naturally picked up on over the years and it’s very important.

“It’s so important in these leagues that you keep your shape and you are disciplined in your organisation.

“For me in my position in the centre of midfield, it’s very important I organise people.”

Weir has been a clear leader on the pitch since his first appearance for O’s on English soil at Wealdstone.

Pre-season is coming to an end now with Orient’s final friendly of the summer against League One outfit Gillingham on Saturday at E10.

The ex-Burton midfielder believes the squad are getting closer to being fully fit and expects them to be ready for their League Two opener on August 6 at Cheltenham Town.

“Pre-season at Burton before has been very tough with the managers I’ve had there and it’s no different under the gaffer here,” said Weir.

“It’s been very tough and that is what we need, it will stand us in good stead over the campaign. If we want to be successful we have to run teams into the ground.

“You have seen at Dagenham the lads are getting there, we are still not there yet, but slowly, but surely we’re getting there.”

Whenever Weir has started in midfield it has usually been with fellow new signing Liam Kelly and the pair have struck up a quick bond.

Orient’s captain believes the ex-Oldham Athletic skipper will be a vital player for the east Londoners in League Two this season.

“I think me and Liam can bring experience, from a personal note I’ve had success at Burton, I’ve seen it and been there,” said Weir.

“This is why I’ve came to Leyton Orient because they are hungry for success and that is something that pushes me on because I want more. Liam has been about and captain at Oldham for years so we’ll play a big, massive part this season.”

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