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Richard Thomas departs Leyton Orient’s academy

PUBLISHED: 15:54 27 January 2017 | UPDATED: 16:10 27 January 2017

Leyton Orient's Brisbane Road (pic: Play With A Legend).

Leyton Orient's Brisbane Road (pic: Play With A Legend).

Mathew Parri Thomas 2016

Brisbane Road club announced shock departure of man who has developed several talented youngsters over the last six years

Leyton Orient have confirmed the departure of academy manager Richard Thomas following six years at Brisbane Road.

The news comes as a surprise and is a massive blow for the O’s and especially their successful youth set-up.

Thomas has played a huge role in nurturing various talented players who have progressed through the academy at E10 in recent times with several making the step up this season.

Under his guidance, the Orient youth team reached the third round of the FA Youth Cup and won the South East Youth Alliance title before Christmas.

The O’s excellent run in the FA Youth Cup highlighted the fantastic work taking place at Brisbane Road.

Several first and second-year scholars have made the step up from the academy into Orient’s first-team during the current campaign.

The likes of Myles Judd, Josh Koroma, Sam Dalby have played numerous times and impressed despite constant managerial changes.

Meanwhile Charlie Grainger, Sam Sargeant, Aron Pollock, Sandro Semedo, Freddy Moncur and Victor Adeboyejo have progressed through Orient’s youth set-up under Thomas’ tenure too.

Several other youngsters can be expected to make their mark on O’s senior team in the coming years and they will all have been developed by the now departing academy boss.

“I would like to thank all the players, parents and staff for everything they gave to the academy during my time here and their contribution to making it what it has become,” Thomas told the club website.

“This is undoubtedly one of the most difficult decisions I have had to make as being at the club has been a huge part of my life.”

Thomas can look back on his time at Orient as a huge success and leaves Brisbane Road with the academy in a much better shape compared to when he started.

No announcement has been made by Orient regarding his replacement or where he is going, but Thomas is set to join Notts County where Kevin Nolan has just taken over as manager.

When Nolan joined O’s as player-manager in January 2016, he immediately struck up a close bond with Andy Edwards and Thomas at Brisbane Road.

The trio had big plans regarding Orient’s youth and it looks likely Thomas will now link up with the former West Ham United captain at Meadow Lane.

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