Winger Josh Koroma revealed his excitement at the thought of playing at Premier League champions Leicester City following the O’s 7-1 FA Youth Cup victory at Poole Town.
The 18-year-old, who signed his first professional contract with the club in September, bagged a second-half hat-trick as Richard Thomas’ side booked a Third Round trip to the King Power Stadium.
“Playing in the King Power will be a fantastic experience and one that all of the boys are buzzing for,” said Koroma following the win at Poole on Tuesday night.
“I thought we played well but the first half was also quite frustrating despite going into half time 2-0 up. We missed a handful of chances, myself included, though fortunately we managed to convert a few more opportunities in the second half.
“We added a third early on but then gave away a cheap goal before scoring four more which showed a good reaction to conceding from the team.
“It was nice to help the team and score a hat-trick which is a great feeling but tonight was a team effort and not an individual one.”
Having claimed a 6-0 victory at Southend United in the First Round back in October, the young O’s made the trip down to Dorset on the morning of Tuesday’s game before getting in their final preparation at a hotel close to the stadium, something Koroma feels both him and his team-mates benefitted from hugely.
“It was nice to be able to come down in the morning on the coach and have the luxury of staying in a hotel. As a team we aren’t used to that at youth team level but it was great that the club allowed us to do so,” explained Koroma.
“It helped team bonding and I know that all the boys really enjoyed it and are grateful to have had that opportunity ahead of the game.”
The victory at Poole extends the young O’s unbeaten record to 16 games now this season, and despite enjoying such a successful campaign thus far Koroma admitted the players remain grounded under Academy Manager Richard Thomas and Professional Development Phase Coach Omer Riza.
“Personally it has been a really good few months for myself being involved with the first team, but it has been even better with the U18s. We haven’t lost a game yet and only drawn one out of 16 so the team as a whole have performed brilliantly and it is great to be a part of that.
“Every game Thommo and Omer remind us not to get complacent and no matter how big a scoreline could be they will always find things for us to work with both collectively and individually which is great for our development,” he added.
“They keep us in place and make sure we don’t get ahead of ourselves, telling us when they think we are getting out of hand, which is a huge help mentally and ensures we remain focus on the next match and don’t get carried away.”