Search

Clark reminisces about the time Orient signed Arsenal’s Campbell

PUBLISHED: 11:00 12 December 2018

Former Leyton Orient manager and chief executive Frank Clark in the crowd (pic: Mike Egerton/PA Images).

Former Leyton Orient manager and chief executive Frank Clark in the crowd (pic: Mike Egerton/PA Images).

PA Wire/PA Images

Leyton Orient are on the look out for new faces and it could make all the difference come the end of the National League campaign

Justin Edinburgh urges Leyton Orient on against Gateshead (pic: Simon O'Connor).Justin Edinburgh urges Leyton Orient on against Gateshead (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Leyton Orient fans know the importance of making a signing midway through a season where the team are seeking promotion and it seems reinforcements will be coming soon to boost Justin Edinburgh’s squad.

On November 27, after the O’s had just been held to a goalless draw by Aldershot Town in the National League, the head coach revealed he wanted to bring in more players to help with their title tilt.

Edinburgh said: “For us to continue this and to challenge we probably need one or two new faces that’s for sure.

“We probably need one more in a wide area with Josh Koroma doing so well up front now. I don’t like to keep moving him back out wide. It is a little bit unfair on him, so we might need another in a wide area and you can never have enough strikers.”

Fast forward to the present day and Orient’s desire to be active in the transfer market has increased some more given the recent news about James Dayton.

Dayton suffered a knee injury during Saturday’s 1-0 loss at Boreham Wood and needed surgery on Monday.

It means the winger will miss the next few months of football and it leaves O’s short in the wide areas.

James Brophy will be the player handed an opportunity and the next man waiting in the wings is Crystal Palace loanee Levi Lumeka, although he has failed to make an impact since he signed on loan in August.

Yet even before Dayton’s injury Orient director of football Martin Ling was on the look out for players alongside chief scout Steve Foster and his team of scouts.

Leyton Orient winger James Dayton reacts after missing a chance (pic: Simon O'Connor).Leyton Orient winger James Dayton reacts after missing a chance (pic: Simon O'Connor).

The significance of a mid-season signing is not lost on O’s fans, who remember the big impact a loanee had during the 1988/89 campaign.

Orient, then in the Fourth Division, brought in young forward Kevin Campbell, 18, from Arsenal in January.

It was a masterstroke by then-manager Frank Clark with the teenage striker netting nine times in 16 appearances.

Campbell’s goals helped take O’s into the top seven with a stunning run of 11 wins from their final 16 league fixtures.

Sixth-placed Orient then saw off Scarborough in a two-legged play-off semi-final before they defeated Wrexham in a two-legged final to seal promotion to the Third Division.

While Campbell’s loan had ended by the time O’s secured promotion, his contribution to their success was never forgotten.

Clark said: “We were never what you would call promotion favourites, but I thought we had a decent team and the icing on the cake was when I was able to get Kevin on loan from Arsenal.

“Kevin came here and did a marvellous job and just gave us that little bit of extra quality and brought out the best in the rest of the players.”

Orient boss Edinburgh and Ling and Foster will now be searching for a Campbell-esque signing – the type which might make the difference come April 27.

During the 2013/14 campaign, when O’s finished third in League One behind champions Wolverhampton Wanderers and runners-up Brentford, many noted, some in hindsight, the squad could have done with more reinforcements.

Several goalkeepers joined, due to the crisis the club suffered between the sticks, and the likes of Jamie Ness, Shaq Coulthirst, Jamar Loza and John Lundstram signed on loan and forward Chris Dagnell moved to Brisbane Road permanently, but Orient needed more.

A major addition that campaign may have tipped the balance in O’s favour and seen them go up instead of Brentford.

We shall never know, but it does seem the key figures at Orient now are aware of how important a mid-season signing can be.

Related articles

Latest East London Sports News

Boxers representing Great Britain have won 18 gold medals (16 men, 2 women) between 1908 and 2016 ad we look at those who have come good over these years.

Yesterday, 18:49

The RFU has revealed the final placings for the 2019/20 rugby season, which was cut short due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Yesterday, 18:00

In the second of a series of interviews with county cricket captains, the PA news agency has spoken to new Essex captain Tom Westley.

Yesterday, 17:00

With sport shutting down across the globe due to the coronavirus pandemic, why not test your sporting knowledge with a 40-question Friday quiz?

Yesterday, 16:42

Anthony Joshua’s defence of his IBF, WBA, WBO and IBO world heavyweight titles against mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev has been postponed, it has been announced.

Yesterday, 16:03

The Premier League has issued a statement confirming that the season will not start at the beginning of May, while clubs have agreed to consult their players on taking wage cuts and deferrals.

Yesterday, 15:58

Sir Mo Farah is not allowing himself to worry about the cancellation of the Olympics and insists he will be prepared to race in Tokyo next year.

Yesterday, 15:45

Leyton Orient have decided to make full use of the government furlough scheme following extensive discussions between the board.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Festival organisers AEG Presents will once again be providing a variety of exciting opportunities for young people at this year’s event

Looking to rent in London? Securing the keys to a new home in any big city can be an ordeal but there is a way to avoid the common pitfalls of London rentals - dodgy landlords, dubious décor and downright dicey security.

Cauldron Foods’ comedy night will give vegans the last laugh as Vegan comics dispel vegan myths.

Most read sport

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Docklands and East London Advertiser
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Most Read

Latest from the East London Advertiser