'Tremendous' Leyton Orient midfielder Freddy Moncur made impression on loan at Bishop's Stortford says manager Mark Hawkes
PUBLISHED: 16:00 11 January 2017 | UPDATED: 16:28 11 January 2017
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Work rate and attitude of the O's youngster hailed by National League South club after returning to Brisbane Road earlier this month
Bishop’s Stortford joint-manager Mark Hawkes heaped praise on Leyton Orient midfielder Freddy Moncur following his loan spell with the Hertfordshire club.
The 20-year-old had his time at the ProKit UK Stadium cut short last week after O’s captain Robbie Weir suffered anterior cruciate ligament damage.
Moncur initially joined the Blues at the end of October and left a lasting impression with Stortford after becoming a regular for the National League South outfit.
“Freddy did well and came in during a difficult period for the club when a lot of changes were going on,” said Blues boss Hawkes.
“We were constantly changing the side, not around Fred, he was a part of that and it was an unsettled team for a while, but his work rate and attitude was brilliant.
“I’ve never met somebody so fit - he was up and down constantly for 90 minutes - and did extremely well for us and I’m glad we’ve played a little part in his development.
“He’s gone back to Orient now and I believe he was on the bench against Barnet, so we must have done something right, but he definitely did well by us because his work rate and attitude was tremendous.”
Moncur’s loan switch to Stortford on October 28 occurred after an excellent reference from Southend United’s under-21 coach Kevin Maher.
Hawkes admitted it was a case of trusting the judgement from the ex-Dagenham & Redbridge midfielder and it was a great recommendation.
He added: “Steve Smith (Stortford’s fellow joint-manager) knows Freddy’s Grandad and between all of us we know people in the professional game and Freddy became available.
“Kevin Maher, who worked with myself at Chelmsford City, strongly recommended him. He is part of the pro scene and had seen him play so you just have to take good advice and it certainly was.”
The Stortford boss was reluctant to take credit for helping improve Moncur, but was pleased they could get him match fit for O’s.
Orient are currently without Weir and Liam Kelly and therefore the young midfielder may get a chance to impress in the coming weeks.
Meanwhile Hawkes believes the experience of playing non-league football for Moncur and other talented youngsters should motivate them to stay in the Football League.
And the O’s do have several current academy stars or graduates out plying their trade in the National League South and below right now.
Hawkes added: “I wouldn’t say we improved Freddy, but we got him match fit and up to speed. I think coming out of the professional game and playing non-league is an eye-opener for all players.
“It should make them think ‘do I want to come out of the pro game, be playing on Tuesdays all the time and out until 11pm before then getting up for work?’
“You don’t want to drop out of the professional set-up so it is a good eye-opener for young players. They can do well by us, we can do well by them and they go back thinking they don’t fancy dropping down to non-league just yet.”
Stortford’s joint-manager did admit he doesn’t anticipate Moncur will make a return to the ProKit UK Stadium this season.
Hawkes envisages the former Wingate & Finchley loanee battling for a place in the starting XI at Brisbane Road and potentially playing a part in their relegation battle.
“His loan has expired. We did have him for two months, but Orient took him back a week early,” said the former Heybridge Swifts manager.
“I wouldn’t have thought he would come back to Bishop’s Stortford now, I think he’ll be involved in their first-team more often than not.”