ABILITY, determination and belief are just three of the key components needed to triumph in Samsung’s Win A Pro Contract competition with the O’s and Swindon Town.
But one entrant is hoping something else will give him an edge over his competitors – his love for the club.
22-year-old Orient fan Ben Hyams is chasing the dream of playing for the team he supports and he isn’t prepared to let anything stand in his way.
“The dream is to play for the O’s,” said Ben. “Before I saw the competition I started to think about becoming a footballer which sounds crazy and a lot of my friends think it’s ridiculous, that I need a miracle.
“I know I need a miracle but that hasn’t stopped me giving it everything I can. When I saw the competition there was the idea that it could happen and since then it’s gathered pace where now I think that maybe it’s up to me that I can do it if I grab it by both hands and give it everything.
“I’d like to think that maybe in this competition I have that one advantage that my heart is in the club that’s offering the opportunity.
“I think that can drive me on.”
Samsung’s Win A Pro Contract process has landed two hopefuls deals at Swindon Town in the last couple of seasons, and now Orient have entered the search for untapped talent with the help of the electronics giant.
Competitors will be tested at regional trials and matches as they bid to kick-start their dreams of becoming a professional footballer, after which the top 11 players are then selected for the Samsung ‘Win A Pro Contract’ Final which will be held at either Swindon Town’s County Ground or Leyton Orient’s Matchroom Stadium towards the end of the year.
Laindon resident Ben is sure he possesses the necessary ingredients for success.
“Faith and determination are key,” he continued. “If you’re really determined in the true sense then you can get through anything and if you’ve got faith then that can direct that determination to get you where you want to be.
“I can’t wait to see what happens. I want to get to that day [the trials stage] and see what I can do.
“I would want to be getting in the middle of the park, being the engine, putting myself about and opening up opportunities.
“That’s really what I’d want to do, giving 110% – that would be it, right there.
“I played for Dagenham & Redbridge under 10s or something like that, but most recently since I came back from university I was playing in a Sunday League in Essex.
“I think if I can get a trial then there’s nothing stopping me.”
And having watched the O’s for years, he would love nothing more than getting the chance to follow in the footsteps of the players he has grown up supporting.
“I have a very specific moment that sticks out as a memory from watching the O’s here. I was in the East Stand and I can’t remember who we were playing, but we had Jabo [Ibehre] playing for us up front.
“He was my favourite player at the time and he went down injured. It was about five minutes it was going on for and he got stretchered off.
“As he was coming towards the East Stand there was pure silence and I was really scared, but he just put a thumb up to let everyone know he was alright.
“As a kid that was a dream moment for me, Jabo sticking his thumb up to give that sign when you were scared for him.
“That was the first great moment and I’d say Téhoué’s goal against Arsenal was the latest. That was pretty amazing.
“If I was to win this, I can’t imagine how much of a change this would be. Walking to the stadium for this interview and thinking imagine if this was matchday, it’s almost impossible to think of.
“That’s where I’ve just got to keep faith that I can do it, but it’s insane to think about.”
To read more about the Samsung Win A Pro Contract competition and to apply for a place in the regional trials please go to www.facebook.com/samsungfootball