The final three players left standing in Samsung’s Win A Pro Contract competition reported for training in Chigwell this morning, ready to be put through their paces by manager Russell Slade.
After beating off fierce competition from more than 5,000 other entrants, midfielders Jack Sherratt, 19, Claudiu Hoban, 21 and striker Kayden Jackson, 18, now must demonstrate their abilities when they join up with the first-team squad for three days of intense training.
The three finalists got a taste of what it’s like to play for Orient when they faced an O’s XI in the Final of the Samsung competition at Brisbane Road on January 16, a game they narrowly lost 3-2.
Slade said: “This is a big opportunity for these lads and I’m really looking forward to seeing them in and around the training ground.
“All three players have showed terrific commitment and effort to get to this stage. They now need to justify their inclusion and make my decision a difficult one.
“The player I pick will need to have the right attitude, good fitness and something a bit special which makes them stand out.”
Stoke-born midfielder Sherratt, who played for Port Vale as a youngster, was overjoyed to be picked but knows the hard work is ahead.
He said: “You could see just how fit the Leyton Orient players were in that game.
“They train everyday and I’m really looking forward to doing the same for a couple of weeks. Hopefully I can play to my full ability and show the manager and his staff what I’m capable of.”
The three players will also spend a week training with Swindon Town before Slade and Paolo Di Canio each reward one player with a life-changing year-long professional contract.
Sky Sports will be showing a three-part series on Samsung Win A Pro Contract starting later this year.
For more information on Samsung Win A Pro Contract, visit www.facebook.com/samsungfootball