Peter Gill pays tribute to Leyton Orient youth-team and Danny Webb after EFL Youth Alliance Merit Division 2 title win
- Credit: Archant
The under-18s manager hailed Danny Webb for laying the foundations for the under-18s success before Webb earned a promotion earlier this year
Peter Gill heaped praise on Leyton Orient’s under-18s for handling the pressure to clinch the EFL Youth Alliance Merit Division 2 title last weekend with a 3-1 victory at home to Plymouth Argyle.
The young O’s played the fixture at Brisbane Road and the equation was simple – a win for the east Londoners would see them crowned champions, but a defeat or draw would ensure Northampton Town finished first.
Orient showed nerves of steel in the 6.30pm kick-off as Hector Kyprianou struck a first-half brace to put Gill’s team two goals ahead with 20 played.
Plymouth looked for a way back into the game, but couldn’t cope with the hosts quick football and Amin Benyoucef put the game to bed with a third in the 54th minute.
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Argyle reduced the deficit with a late penalty, but O’s remained on top during the final exchanges and sealed the title with a 3-1 win to cap a fine campaign for the under-18s.
“It’s a nice feeling for the boys to be division winners,” Orient youth-team boss Gill told the official club website.
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“They have worked really hard and obviously youth development isn’t always about results and winning league titles, it is about getting boys into the first-team, but we decided to put a different spin on it a month ago.
“We decided to really emphasis to the boys they can win a title to add some psychological pressure and it paid off.
“The boys worked really hard and came through and we topped the pressure up, but I’m delighted with them and how they played.”
After reaching the third round of the FA Youth Cup again, this result capped another excellent season for the under-18s.
The likes of Charles Clayden and Ruel Sotiriou also made their first-team debuts this season while other members travelled with head coach Justin Edinburgh’s squad during the final run-in.
Gill added: “The gaffer has been fantastic with the under-18s and Ruel and Charles have got minutes on the pitch, but we’ve also had Arthur Janata be on the bench and Hector has travelled with the squad up to Hartlepool United.
“The gaffer has been fantastic as well as Ross Embleton and Danny Webb and I’ve got to pay credit to Danny because he was the person who laid the foundations for this group of players.
“There was a lot of hard work put in and a lot of hard days at the start of the season with a group of first-year scholars up against seconds every week and it wasn’t easy, but Danny put in the hard work.
“I was just able to take it forward at the end and the boys kicked on at the end which is the most important thing.”