Coach Gill proud of O’s achievements, but ready for new challenge with Barnet
PUBLISHED: 15:00 12 December 2018
Simon O'Connor Photography
The former professional development phase lead coach at Orient explained why he made the move to the Hive
Pete Gill’s departure from Leyton Orient was confirmed last week and while it was a tough decision to make, the former youth-team boss felt he received an offer he couldn’t turn down.
The 28-year-old officially left the O’s on November 29 to become academy manager at London and National League rivals Barnet.
Orient assistant Ross Embleton recently revealed Gill’s role at the Bees was a “step up in terms of the level of responsibility” and the ex-professional development phase lead coach in E10 explained why he made the switch.
He admitted: “It was not an easy decision to make. I have made a lot of friends at Leyton Orient and we as an academy have produced some really good results in terms of the players we have developed.
“It was a big decision, but the opportunity, at my age, to become an academy manager at Barnet was something I felt I couldn’t turn down.
“I think it will be a totally different skill set in which I will have to tap into and that is the main reason why I decided to take the role.
“I came to Leyton Orient as an employee and I have ended up loving the club, so it was a real tough decision, but one I felt would progress me in my career and my journey.
“It was not an easy decision and it was also not easy to say goodbye to all of the players and staff after either – that was tough.”
Gill’s work at Orient is easy to judge given the number of quality players to have come through the club’s academy in recent years.
In the O’s first-team right now the likes of Josh Koroma, Myles Judd, Dan Happe, Sam Sargeant, Charlie Grainger, Arthur Janata and Ruel Sotiriou have all come through the youth set-up and the majority have worked with Gill.
He also helped develop Steven Alzate, now of Brighton & Hove Albion, Norwich City’s Tristan Abrahams, Sam Dalby, of Leeds United, Charlton Athletic’s Toby Stevenson and Victor Adeboyejo, who is playing for Barnsley.
The aforementioned fivesome all started out in O’s academy and are flourishing elsewhere, which gives Gill great pride and he will now aim to help bring on many of Barnet’s best youngsters.
He will also use the tough times of the 2016/17 campaign, where staff went unpaid for weeks on end and Orient had five different managers in the season, as a positive going forward in his coaching journey.
Gill added: “Some people look at me and say I have only had three-and-a-half years in professional football at an academy.
“But if you look at what we went through and the experiences we had, I am sure I have amassed more experience than some people have done in 10 to 15 years in the game.
“It has all been a great learning curve and there have been some really good times and we have had some outstanding teams and players and we came through some difficult times, which were well publicised, but it has only shaped me better for the future.
“Also it is the same for the players because they came through tough times along with the other staff, so it was a real learning experience for all of us.”
Gill will now impart his knowledge on the next crop of talented youngsters at Barnet.