Time to eat some humble pie - James Brophy has proved me wrong since joining Leyton Orient permanently from Swindon Town
PUBLISHED: 11:00 27 March 2018
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I didn't think the O's should spend a fee on the former loanee in January, but he has proved to be an excellent addition
When talk started to gather pace in January that Leyton Orient were looking to sign James Brophy permanently, I couldn’t help but be a little bit bemused.
The 23-year-old spent two months on loan at Brisbane Road between September and November and had done fairly well, but for me he hadn’t set the world alight in E10.
So, when Orient announced they had signed the Londoner on a two-and-a-half year contract on January 31 for an undisclosed fee I thought it was perhaps a waste of money, especially with promotion from the National League a long shot.
But over the last two months Brophy has completely proven me wrong and I’m happy to eat some humble pie and admit that.
I do think one of the reasons we are seeing a much better version of the now ex-Swindon Town ace is because he is playing in what appears his favoured position.
Speaking after another superb showing during the 3-0 win over Woking on Saturday, the former Broadfields United teen reflected on his recent form which has seen him score three times over the last five weeks and pick up several assists.
Brophy said: “When you play in a wide position further forward, people will look at your tally of goals and assists, so you’ve got to try and add it to your game.
“I think getting a run of games in that left midfield position has probably helped me and hopefully I am showing to the gaffer why I should be playing.”
After Brophy first signed for the O’s at the end of September, former head coach Steve Davis used him in a variety of roles.
The then-Robins loanee started out on the left of midfield before dropping back to full-back two weeks into his first month at the club.
He was used as a wide forward against Gateshead (October 24) too and then began to be fielded as a wing-back before Davis was sacked on November 14.
When reflecting on his recent consistent time on the wing, he added: “I don’t mind where I play, but what is important for me is to get games and it is nice to get a run now.
“The more you play the more confidence you get and the more match fit you get, so it’s been nice.”
Brophy had showed glimpses of his potential under Davis, but he hadn’t been consistent and it was only under interim head coach Ross Embleton that we really saw what he could do.
After working together at the County Ground, Embleton put Brophy on the left wing and he produced two fine performances during draws with Dover Athletic and Chester.
Unfortunately for Orient he was recalled the day before their clash at Torquay United and his mixed time at O’s looked to be over.
Justin Edinburgh and Martin Ling had other ideas, however, and how right they were because Brophy has been brilliant since returning and long may it continue.