The proceeds from the new One of Our Own membership will go directly to the Academy for dedicated use on selected projects, equipment and the general running of its successful operation.
Over the years the Leyton Orient Academy has seen plenty of success stories with Nicky Shorey (Reading), Moses Odubajo (Brentford) and Gabriel Zakuani (Fulham) amongst those to attract moves up the league ladder, whilst recent times have seen Steve Alzate (Brighton & Hove Albion) and Michael Obafemi (Southampton) play in the Premier League as well as Josh Koroma (Huddersfield Town) in the Championship.
Director of Football, Martin Ling, has said: “The Club’s recent promotion back into the EFL secured our future as a Category 3 Academy and with it the immediate future of 118 talented young footballers across all age groups who are proud to pull on the Leyton Orient shirt each week.”
However, the COVID outbreak of 2020 has put tremendous strain on the Academy’s operations, which you can help to alleviate by becoming a ‘One of Our Own’ member for just £10 per month. 100% of the funds raised through the membership will directly contribute to the day-to-day running of the Academy to ensure we can continue to produce young stars to break into the first team and beyond.
The membership will also include a number of benefits to commemorate your generosity:
Martin Ling continued, “At present, the Academy is a six-figure sum to run annually which is financed through EFL funding, donations and player sales, amongst other sources. Now, thanks to the ‘One Of Our Own’ scheme, these additional memberships will also directly contribute to the future success of the Academy, which will in turn hugely benefit the Club. That makes me incredibly proud.”
Professional Development Phase Lead Coach, Brian Saah, added: “The importance of a successful Academy for a club at this level is vital. Leyton Orient has a long and proud history in developing youth players and we remain committed to doing so whether that’s through our traditional Academy age groups or through more recent additions to our structure. This includes College Programmes for 16-18 year-olds and Elite Development Centres which aim to provide a pathway for talented local youngsters with the right attitude and ability to progress from grassroots football to the Academy.
“It’s always a huge plus when a homegrown talent makes it into the first team and for Orient supporters to know they have been able to contribute towards the future of this through the ‘One Of Our Own’ scheme will add an ever greater sense of pride.”