Dean Brill confident Leyton Orient's young goalkeepers Charlie Grainger and Sam Sargeant will succeed in Football League
PUBLISHED: 08:00 28 December 2017
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The O's goalkeeper coach discusses the two young stoppers at Brisbane Road and how he has enjoyed his first step into coaching
Dean Brill has backed Leyton Orient’s young goalkeepers Charlie Grainger and Sam Sargeant to both enjoy good, long careers in the professional game.
The 32-year-old has coached the academy graduates since moving to Brisbane Road at the start of August.
Brill, O’s goalkeeper coach, has recently taken the number one shirt after new boss Justin Edinburgh decided now wasn’t the time for 21-year-old Grainger or Sargeant, 20, to be a regular in between the posts.
Yet the experienced stopper is very confident the young pair will make their mark in the Football League.
“There really isn’t a lot in it between them and I’ve told them that to their faces. I do speak to them regularly about it, but they are two completely different goalkeepers, which is interesting to work with,” said Brill.
“If they were both similar, it would be hard, but as they are both so different it is a good challenge for me and gives me a challenge of how I work them together and improve them.
“They could probably do with a bit of what the other has got, which is bizarre, but I know they have both got good, long careers in the game. I’m confident of that.”
Orient’s goalkeeper coach admits the duo have endured a difficult introduction into the pro game.
Grainger was only handed fleeting opportunities during the 2015/16 and 2016/17 campaign under the stewardship of various different managers.
Sargeant, meanwhile, came into an Orient team last season which was struggling and despite impressing, his rawness was evident.
Fast forward to this term and both were vying for the number one shirt under Steve Davis and Grainger won the battle.
The former Farnborough loanee went on to play the O’s first 22 competitive fixtures, but came in for criticism with the team struggling for victories.
Brill explained: “They are fantastic goalkeepers and people and good guys and the situation they were put in last year with Sargeant playing in a team which was going through a lot of turmoil and then this season it has been different for Charlie.
“Make no bones about it, we are a big club in this division and there is a lot of pressure on the team to win games and that’s a hard path for both of them to start their careers down.
“I know they will 100 per cent learn from it and I know they have the right desire and ability to become professional goalkeepers, I’ve no doubt about that, but they’ve both had tough starts.
“They are really good lads though and they work really, really hard and they’ve been brilliant for me in my first role.”
It was somewhat of a surprise when Brill joined Orient as goalkeeper coach given he was only in his early thirties.
But the ex-Inverness Caledonian Thistle goalkeeper has relished the opportunity to pass on his knowledge and has firmly chucked himself into the role.
“It came about through a friend of a friend and I spoke to Martin (Ling) in the summer and I was at a time in my career where I had offers, but this quickly became something I saw myself going towards,” said Brill.
“The size of the club made it something I was really interested in and I was lucky enough to be brought in and be given this role.
“It did happen pretty quickly, but I have really enjoyed it and looking at it now, I’m enjoying it a lot more than I thought.
“I’m football daft, so I go home and think about what I can do the next day with the goalkeepers, the youngsters and how we can help them.
“Below that I go down to watch the academy train sometimes and I know all of the goalkeepers at that level, so it’s something I’ve got a real interest in.”