Hendon ‘understands’ Clarke situation

PUBLISHED: 13:30 27 July 2015

Nathan Clarke is leaving Leyton Orient to return to his family in the north of England (pic: Simon O'Connor)

Nathan Clarke is leaving Leyton Orient to return to his family in the north of England (pic: Simon O'Connor)

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Orient boss sympathises with wantaway captain

Leyton Orient head coach Ian Hendon says he fully understands Nathan Clarke’s desire to return home to his family in the north of England.

Captain Clarke made the announcement on Friday, having spent three years at Brisbane Road and made over 100 appearances since joining from Huddersfield.

And Hendon had sympathy for the 31-year-old, saying: “I came back at the start of pre-season and Nathan put something out saying he was happy to back and looking forward to the season.

“He had another chat with me – 10 days ago, two weeks ago – and told me that he needs to get back up to his family.

“I totally understand that, I’ve been a player, away from my family in the past and it’s difficult.

“He’s been here a few years now and it’s obviously taken a strain on his family life. I need him 100 per cent on board with what we’re doing, full time.

“If he can’t give me that, it’s probably best for all parties if he goes home. I’ve got no problem with that.”

The timing of Clarke’s announcement, with just two weeks to go until the start of the new League Two campaign, was far from ideal, with Hendon looking to finalise his squad for the season.

And with fellow defender Shane Lowry also looking to complete a move away from east London, the O’s boss could have two gaps to fill in his backline.

But Hendon paid tribute to Clarke’s service and hopes matters can be resolved as quickly as possible.

He added: “He’s a good lad, he’s been a good captain at the club. Lets hope he finds himself a club and we wish him well.

“He’s been a good servant to the club, he’s got a year left on his contract so his salary can be used elsewhere out of the budget.

“It’s difficult at the moment with bringing players in, with Nathan and Shane, nothing is concrete at the moment. The sooner it is, the better for all parties concerned.”

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