LAST Sunday saw the final Samsung Win A Pro Contract regional trial take place at Goals Soccer Centre in Eltham, south-east London.
The competition, which will see one amateur footballer sign a professional deal with the O’s in January, attracted more than 5,000 entries between May and August.
Football trials specialists FootballCV, who are responsible for selection and scouting in the early stages of the competition, picked 360 aspiring players for the first round of trials – a mixture of skills tests and small-sided matches.
After regional trials in Isleworth, Leeds, Birmingham, Bristol and Liverpool throughout September and October, the final group of 60 hopefuls had their chance to impress in front of the watching Russell Slade.
Russell said: “I know all about our initiative with Samsung but it was great to watch a live trial and see what talent is out there.
“The players performed under a lot of pressure – you could see how much winning a contract means to every one of them.
“Whoever we end up signing will have a brilliant chance to progress as a footballer. We’re not scared to give youth a chance at Orient.”
FootballCV will now assess all of the players they’ve seen in action, picking the top 88 to make it through to the Quarter-Final stage. This will consist of four 90 minute, 11-a-side matches played at non-league grounds during November.
Club scouts from both Orient and Swindon Town, who will also sign a player at the end of the competition, will be in attendance as they look to find someone to join their respective first-team squad.
Follow the progress of Samsung Win A Pro Contract at facebook.com/samsungfootball