Dean Cox dropped into the SCORE centre opposite the Matchroom Stadium recently to check on the Leyton Orient teams that are part of the developing and exciting futsal league; a Football League Trust initiative.
Now in its second year, the league has almost 30 clubs playing around the country and forms part of a 2-year BTEC Level 3 Sport and Leisure course for young people aged 16-19. Specific training takes place twice a week alongside regular study with the league games taking place fortnightly and held at the SCORE centre, having been designated as one of only two official futsal venue’s in London.
The O’s have two teams registered and Coxy was there to watch the ‘A’s take on Brighton & Hove Albion, his boyhood club. “I started at Brighton as a six year old and made my debut for the first team just before my 18th birthday but today I’m obviously supporting the Orient lads” said Dean. “I enjoy futsal. It’s quick and all about movement and taking opportunities; getting your shots off sharpish.”
Other teams included in the O’s southern area group are Southend, Ipswich, Stevenage and Crystal Palace.
Grant Osborn, the Leyton Orient coach, commented, “It’s really great that the first team player’s drop by and support the students. The guys are really interested to hear what the professionals have to say and it really inspires them.”
A close encounter ended with honours even as the teams shared 8 goals, Brighton equalising in the last minute with the help of an own goal. “It’s a shame we couldn’t hold out for the win,“ commented Cox, “but I suppose I could be happy with the draw!”