Martin Ling views his ‘long-term’ future at Leyton Orient after landing dream role at Brisbane Road

PUBLISHED: 10:30 24 June 2017

Martin Ling has returned to Leyton Orient as Director of Football (pic: David Davies).

Martin Ling has returned to Leyton Orient as Director of Football (pic: David Davies).

PA Archive/PA Images

Experienced former manager believes his past experiences in football mean his new job at O’s is perfect

Leyton Orient fans are delighted with the recent takeover of the clubLeyton Orient fans are delighted with the recent takeover of the club

New Leyton Orient Director of Football Martin Ling believes he will be back at Brisbane Road for a number of years and views his new role with the O’s as a long-term project.

The 50-year-old returned to the club he played for and managed yesterday morning and admitted it was surreal to be back.

Ling is excited about the people now in place at Orient and keen to get the National League side back into the Football League.

He said: “I see it as a project and so do the people who have put me in place. I do see it as a long-term role and the aim is to build this club back to what it was.

“We will give everything we have as a group of staff and for me it is about making sure the football club gets back to where it belongs. I know that will take time, but I see myself being here for that amount of time.”

Ling’s affiliation with Orient stretches back to 1996 when he joined from Swindon Town as a player and remained at the club until 2000.

The Londoner took up a role as O’s youth-team coach soon after retiring from professional football at the start of the millennium.

And in December 2003 Ling earned a promotion to manager at Brisbane Road and remained in the position until January 2009.

Ling believes his role at Orient previously will stand him in good stead ahead of his new job.

He added: “It is weird because I have never really thought about being a Director of Football and I have seen myself as a football manager previously, but I have done an awful lot.

“The role of a football manager is changing and certainly when I did the job at this football club before, I did a lot of the Director of Football side of the job anyway.

“I sorted the contracts and spoke to agents because that was the way the role was then and I was also involved in the youth side of things and making sure that was all set-up properly, so if I could have drawn up a role that suited my skill set this would be it.

“I am 50 now so I need to get off the training ground and buy a couple of suits, but I feel with Nigel (Travis) and Kent (Teague) not being in the country they want someone to run the football side of things on a day-to-day basis and make sure it is right.

“They need someone they can come to and that is going to be me, so I feel it is a role that is a dream role for me.”

Travis spoke on Thursday about the need for patience and how Orient might find themselves in the National League for three years.

Ling echoed his sentiments and reflected on why the division is so tough and how the squad at Brisbane Road needs to be full of the right characters.

He said: “You don’t get anything by being an ex-league club and if you look at the National League now, it is full of ex-league clubs.

“You have got to be able to play away at Gateshead on a cold Tuesday night and sometimes you go away from home and there are not a lot of fans.

“It is a difficult league and it is split between ex-league clubs and when you go there it seems like a league game and then you go other places where you wonder how they got into the league.

“It is a tough division with one going up automatically and another through the play-offs, so it is difficult to get out of, so that’s why man management is important.

“You need players who are not going to fade away when you are at a place where it is tough to play, so it is a difficult league to get out of, but we will work on getting the right components in place and work from there.”

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