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Stortford boss Cureton delighted to have great link with O's

PUBLISHED: 17:00 25 July 2019 | UPDATED: 17:01 25 July 2019

Bishop's Stortford player-manager Jamie Cureton leaves the pitch to a round of applause in the 69th minute of their pre-season friendly against former club Leyton Orient

Bishop's Stortford player-manager Jamie Cureton leaves the pitch to a round of applause in the 69th minute of their pre-season friendly against former club Leyton Orient

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The Isthmian Premier club have a good relationship with Leyton Orient and hosted them for a friendly fixture on Tuesday

Jamie Cureton, Bishop's Stortford player-manager, speaks with Leyton Orient captain and player-coach Jobi McAnuff after the pre-season friendly between the two clubsJamie Cureton, Bishop's Stortford player-manager, speaks with Leyton Orient captain and player-coach Jobi McAnuff after the pre-season friendly between the two clubs

Jamie Cureton is pleased current club Bishop's Stortford have been able to build up a solid rapport with former side Leyton Orient over the last couple of years.

The O's interim head coach Ross Embleton knows Jim Duggan, who is part of Blues management team, very well and it has seen various youngsters sign with the Isthmian Premier outfit on loan over the past two seasons.

Arthur Janata, Shadrach Ogie, Hector Kyprianou and Ruel Sotiriou all spent time with Stortford in the 2018/19 campaign and impressed under player-boss Cureton.

On Tuesday, the link extended into a friendly fixture which attracted 816 spectators to the ProKit UK Stadium and the ex-Orient striker is thrilled with the relationship which has developed since the O's were taken over by Nigel Travis and Kent Teague.

Cureton told this title: "We sort of had it planned after having the boys in last season and we have a good link.

"If there is anyone they feel will benefit from a loan, they half give us first dibs if we need them.

"Jim knows Ross really well and hopefully the lads who have come here have gone back better and that's what you want.

"We would have liked to have kept 'Shads' and Arthur because they did so well, but because they did so well we expected them to move up and unless we move on we know we won't get them back.

"It's just good Ross thinks we look after them, which we do, and if there are any we want then we can have them, so it's a great link. We had over 800 fans here for the friendly, so we are really pleased and it was a good work out for us."

Jamie Cureton shakes hands with Bishop's Stortford owner and joint-manager Steve Smith after he is substituted against Leyton OrientJamie Cureton shakes hands with Bishop's Stortford owner and joint-manager Steve Smith after he is substituted against Leyton Orient

Orient have sent players to Stortford in the past with Freddy Moncur going there for the first time in the 2016/17 season, but the bond between the clubs appears stronger than ever now.

For Embleton, Tuesday's friendly allowed him the chance to look at two more trialists and give minutes to some of the younger members of the squad.

While disappointed to lose a three-goal lead, O's academy graduates Janata, Ogie and Sotiriou would have enjoyed returning to their former loan side.

"Stortford were a very good club for us and our young players last year and they got valuable experiences," Embleton said.

Those players are at the beginning of their career while Cureton, who will turn 44 in August, is firmly in the twilight stage.

Despite this, the experienced forward still continues to find the net on a regular basis and finished top goalscorer in the Isthmian Premier last term.

He has been juggling playing alongside management since September, but flicked in from close range against Orient on Tuesday to show the predatory instincts have not gone anywhere yet despite another pre-season to contend with.

Cureton admitted: "I'm still enjoying it as silly as it is and I feel fit. I'll probably be looking to play the whole season again because I don't feel any different compared to last year.

"We'll have to see when the games start to come, but hopefully we'll have a group where if I can drop out I'm confident in the boys we have got, so that will give me some respite.

"Saying that, I know what I'm like and I want to play so if I'm doing the job I'll play and if I'm not I'll come out."

The Blues player-manager will hope to play as much as possible this campaign and be joined on the pitch by a few Orient loanees from time to time too.

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