The O’s ended the camp with an enthralling match with Benfica B, losing 5-4 to the ProLiga side. “It was a great game, four penalties, a lot of rolling around but there was some good football played by both teams. I think for us going forward it shows that we can mix it physically and play some good football so the future bodes well”
The Irishman saw himself on the scoresheet as he made his first appearance of pre-season, his 52nd minute chip led the comeback as the O’s recovered from a 4-1 deficit to level the game.
“Obviously I missed the first week, or 10 days, of pre-season so I’ve been playing a little bit of catch-up but happy to get 45 minutes in the game, I enjoyed it and it was good to get the goal but I’m just happy to get back out on the pitch and be playing again.
The O’s squad who faced Benfica B featured a number of young players, in particular 17-year-old Ruel Sotiriou, who signed his first professional contract last month, and 16-year-old Shadrach Ogie.
“All the young boys in the squad have really been impressive: Myles Judd has done well, Josh Koroma has been different class, Shadrach and Ruel have been great additions to the squad and they’re only going to grow and get better and hopefully we’ll see big things from both of them in the future.
The Portuguese side clinched victory in the dying moments as they earned the fourth penalty of the match, which was duly dispatched by Daniel dos Anjos, “We didn’t start the second half great and conceded two quick goals but we did really well to get it back, and in stages we dominated a lot.
“Obviously we were disappointed to give the penalty away in the last minute but for us it was a good exercise and we got what we wanted out of it.
The squad returned to the UK on Sunday evening, and Mooney felt it was a worthwhile week for the team as prepare for the start of the 2018/19 season.
“It has been really good. Obviously we’ve got two new additions [Dale Gorman and James Alabi] plus Shadrach and Ruel who are now fully integrated with us, so it has been good for the squad. It’s been very, very tough and we’ve done a lot of sessions but its been enjoyable and the boys have got what they needed out of it”
The O’s are next in action when they visit East Thurrock United at Rookery Hill on Tuesday evening.