Ogie and others pushing senior players in O's first-team
PUBLISHED: 13:00 12 February 2019
Simon O'Connor Photography
Shadrach Ogie's recent international clearance provides boss Justin Edinburgh with more options amidst a slight injury crisis
Leyton Orient may have had a slightly inexperienced bench at Hartlepool United last weekend, but Shadrach Ogie’s inclusion will no doubt have handed him a big boost.
It has been a tough road for the 17-year-old to be part of Justin Edinburgh’s squad in a first-team fixture.
After impressing many observers in the summer, Ogie then had a long-protracted wait for FIFA to grant him international clearance after starting out playing in the Republic of Ireland during his junior years.
Eventually he received the required paperwork at the beginning of the year and O’s were able to officially announce he had signed a first professional contract at the club on February 1 running until June 2020.
It would have been a proud moment for Ogie and his family, in addition to non-league side Hornchurch, who initially gave him a chance in their academy set-up.
Having put pen to paper on pro terms at the National League leaders, the tall defender capped a great couple of days with his debut off the bench in the 1-0 FA Trophy win over Blyth Spartans on February 2.
Things then got even better for the versatile youngster with a maiden appearance for the Republic of Ireland under-19s last week.
First-team development coach Danny Webb was delighted to see Ogie get 39 minutes against Spartans, he said: “We have strength in depth in that back line and obviously the Shadrach saga has finished.
“He played (in the FA Trophy) and he was a bit nervy at times, but you can expect that from a lad who hasn’t kicked a ball in anger in a competitive fixture for a while. It was nice for him to come on and get the feel of it.”
After making a positive impression, Ogie’s versatility, on top of his clear talent, was probably a decisive factor in him being on the bench last weekend at the Pools.
Sam Ling didn’t travel due to tonsillitis and so it handed the former youth-teamer the opportunity to sit on the bench.
Ogie didn’t come on, but the fact he can comfortably play at left-back or centre back does give boss Edinburgh some options in defence.
With Marvin Ekpiteta and Josh Coulson still out injured, O’s lack alternatives at the heart of their defence.
Full-back Joe Widdowson can play there, but Ogie’s recent international clearance has handed Orient a much-needed boost in terms of availability.
Jamie Turley played alongside the Irishman against Spartans and was impressed with his display.
He added: “Shadrach came in and he has been waiting a long time, but he did really well when he came on.
“It shows everyone has to be at the races every weekend because there are young lads snapping at their heels.”