Young rising star Sandro Semedo, 20, has started to flourish on the pitch culminating in a blockbuster 30-yard strike that flew into the back of Colchester United’s net during the last home game of the O’s 2016-17 season.
Although the year will be remembered for the relegation from the EFL, Semedo has continually risen above the weekly disappointments and continued to be a role model to those who aspire to be a young professional footballer.
Just three years ago, he was playing for the Leyton Orient Trust’s (LOT) football team alongside studying for his BTEC in leisure and sport but caught the eye of then Academy Manager Andy Edwards and was invited to play for the youth team.
The rest, as they say, is history. He scored his first goal for Leyton Orient in an EFL Trophy tie against Stevenage on August 30, 2016 after making his debut from the bench away to Luton Town on September 1, 2015.
Since then and throughout his time in the first-team squad, Sandro has always been willing to help LOT and the club’s community work especially attending new student induction events and specific course-related lessons and he even hosted a tour of the training ground to a selected group of students followed by a Q&A session.
Leyton Orient Trust CEO Neil Taylor, said: “Since enrolling on Leyton Orient Trust’s College Programme in 2013 through to scoring his wonder goal in Orient’s last home Football League fixture against Colchester United in 2017, Sandro has always been a credit to himself, the Trust and the Club. He is always willing to help and make himself available and has over the course of this season become a model professional with the result that he is our community player of the year. Thank you Sandro for all of your efforts and wish you the most of luck in the future.”
As the Club’s winner, Sandro was also recognised as our PFA Community Champion and received his award prior to the home game against Hartlepool United.
Sandro said afterwards: “I am very proud to win this award. The Trust and Club have done so much for me and it is never a problem to help them in the community. If I can help to inspire the new students that would be perfect.”