Widdowson keen to help Orient youngsters like Ogie progress
PUBLISHED: 12:00 29 August 2018
The experienced left-back discusses Shadrach Ogie and how encouragement can go a long way for an academy player
Joe Widdowson believes Leyton Orient have a really bright prospect in the shape of young defender Shadrach Ogie.
The 16-year-old moved to E10 last season after impressing for Hornchurch against the O’s in the FA Youth Cup.
Since joining Orient, the versatile defender has improved a lot and featured for Justin Edinburgh’s team in pre-season and been given the squad number 25 for the term.
Still just a teenager, the left-sided ace has a long way to go, but Widdowson, 29, feels the signs are positive.
The former West Ham United trainee said: “Shad is a really bright prospect. He is a big, strong aggressive boy.
“He can play at left-back or centre back and Shad is good. He is very young still, but we are trying to encourage him.
“I think he has a lot of good attributes and I am sure if he keeps his head right, he will go on and have a good career.
“Also, it is more competition, so good for me and it is another good young player we have got at the club.”
Widdowson, although certainly not old aged only 29, has been in the professional game for a long while and knows the importance of encouraging academy starlets.
He progressed through the Hammers youth set-up before having permanent spells with Grimsby Town, Rochdale, Northampton Town in the Football League and more recently Dagenham & Redbridge and now Orient.
Given he has come through an academy and gone on to earn a living through football, Widdowson is well placed to offer advice to some of O’s teenagers.
Ogie is one of many talented youngsters in and around Edinburgh’s first-team squad with the likes of Josh Koroma, Dan Happe, Myles Judd all featuring in the National League this season.
Widdowson said: “I remember when I was that age and when you get a ‘well done’ from someone it does lift you and makes you feel good about yourself no matter what it is; a header, tackle or clearance.
“The encouragement can go a long way and I want to see them all do well. I have a lot of time for all of the young lads, they are all good lads.
“When they are out on the pitch, if I can give them a lift it can go a long way, so if I can help them I will.”