We sat down with O’s winger, James Brophy, following news that he had agreed a new contract to stay at the O’s until 2021.
James – a new one-year contract extension, you must be delighted to be staying at the O’s?
“Really happy. It got mentioned at the end of last season by Gaffer (Justin Edinburgh) actually, just after the Trophy final and I made a bit of a joke about it to him but it was one thing that was always on my mind that we’d moved up a league and I was coming into the final year of my contract. I’ve just been happy ever since I’ve come here so I’m really delighted to get it over the line and to have a further year here.”
How do you feel the side have done in League Two?
“I think we’ve had a good start to life at this level, in the first month we’ve seen a bit of everything from everyone and I think we’ve adapted quite well as a team and everyone has stepped up individually to match the level we’re at and now it is about pushing on, competing at this level and having a successful season.”
How important has interim Head Coach Ross Embleton in keeping you at the O’s?
“[Ross Embleton has been] massive. The reason I came here in the first place, everyone knows, is the people I knew here before in Ross and Lingy so I have to give them thanks for bringing me here and making me enjoy my football again. Obviously the summer was a tragic incident and one we’re still grieving from so it’s been massively important to have the same people who brought me here still in and around the Club.”
It has been an excellent start to the league campaign this season – you must be looking to continuing to kick-on.
“As a Club, the owners are very ambitious, the Coaches are and we are as a squad. Last year was a very successful season but it felt like the start of something, we still don’t feel the Club deserves to be at this level and we need to keep going forward and I have my own aspirations individually to try and push forward as much as I can so if they can work in sync – I’m really enjoying it and hoping that’s the way it goes.”
You’ve highlighted the role of Ross Embleton, the coaches and the board but how important is the atmosphere within the squad?
“Last season, and even this season, is probably the best squad I’ve ever been in and around since I came into professional football. We had a bit of everything and everyone was pushing for the same thing and everyone was just fighting for the Club, there was no individual ambition over team ambition – it was all in the same direction. We recruited well in the summer, the players that have joined us have fitted right in so we’re looking forward to keep pushing.”