Striker Liliana Almeida, goalkeeper Lola Durojaiye and midfielder Eve Pearson have become the first to join the new side, and Director of Women’s Football Derwent Jaconelli is excited to work with the trio.
“I am really pleased with our first signings,” said Jaconelli. “Not just because they are all great players, but because they fit the mould of what we want to achieve as a community-based club, in creating opportunities for local Women to thrive in a professional yet friendly environment.”
“We want to build a competitive squad of like-minded players, with desire and passion to play for Leyton Orient, who have respect for our history and values, but keep an open mind to innovation, as we play our part in shaping the future.
“Above all, we want our players to be ambassadors and role models for our youth players to aspire to and, in my opinion, we could not have chosen three better players to kick things off.”
“We could not have chosen three better players to kick things off.”
Liliana Almeida, 27, lives close to the stadium and attended local schools before attending Barking Abbey Basketball Academy. She went on to play basketball in Canada and America before returning to the UK and transferring her skills to the football pitch as a striker.
“I was born in Portugal but moved to East London when I was just five years old,” said Liliana. “I attended Bancroft and Lammas School before going on to Barking Abbey Basketball Academy.”
“When I was a young girl, I used to play football at the Score Centre opposite the stadium and had a longing to one day have the opportunity to play for Leyton Orient!”
Lola Durojaiye, 18, is a local player from Dagenham who has been goalkeeper for the U18s in the 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons, but now steps up to the first team.
A great natural ability and a professional attitude, Lola is a fantastic footballer who commands the area in front of her goal. She has worked extremely hard to develop her game, and picked up the Manager’s Player of the Year award.
“Being able to play for the women’s first team at Leyton Orient is an opportunity and a step towards greater representation of women in football,” said Lola.
“I have been playing since I was seven years old and saw it only as something to fill my spare time. However, I’ve come to realise that someday I could make a career and would like to encourage other women to think they can too!”
Eve Pearson, 17, has lived in Leyton all her life having attended St Joseph’s Primary School and Holy Family secondary school.
A centre-midfielder, she started playing at the age of five and played for a number of local grassroots clubs. She was recently scouted whilst playing for Ridgeway Rovers U18s where she stood out, and will now represent The O’s.
“My goals are to one day play in the WSL and for England. I realise how challenging this is, but I am willing to work hard to make this a reality, but my first goal is to get a starting place in the first team and achieve success for the club”.
Open sessions are currently taking place for the Leyton Orient FC Women’s team, and we’d love to have interested women along.
To register your interest, simply visit this page, and fill out the form – and we’ll be in touch!