Read a revealing extract from the interview with Romain Vincelot in Saturday's programme...Remember the matchday programme is just £3 and has 68 pages of features, games, news and photos. Grab yours on Tuesday night v Oldham! The following extract is from the programme against Brentford on Saturday...
With his distinctive beard and swashbuckling midfield style, Romain Vincelot has become something of a cult hero with the Orient fans.
The Frenchman, who signed a three-year contract with the O’s in the summer of 2013, admits that his relationship with the supporters is a special one and something that makes the club stand out from the others.
“It really pleases me that the fans have taken to me,” says Vincelot. “It shows they appreciate what I do on the pitch first and foremost. I have always got on well with fans as I think they recognise that even if I make a mistake or am not at my best that I will always try my hardest.
“With Orient it is an amazing and special close relationship with the fans. After a game I will sometimes stop at the Supporters Club for a drink and they are always so hospitable to me and my friends. There is a lot of good people in there and we have good talks not just about football but all sorts of things about East London and the areas I like. I get addresses of good restaurants and things like that which is useful and it is nice to talk about things other than football sometimes.
Indeed the 28-year-old is passionate about the area and could not feel more at home in his current surroundings as they allow him to pursue his lengthy lists of interests away from football.
“I care about the area and so I care about the club as I see what it means to local people. I think maybe because of my beard people recognise me more now and come up and say nice things or honk their horn.
“I live in Wanstead and I love it, it is the perfect area for me, my wife to be and my dog. We are so close to the centre of London with the central line, or we can drive to Shoreditch, plus we have Epping Forest just five minutes away where you can go and walk for hours. I have everything in Wanstead too; there is the high street, a little park and a few places with a terrace that I can enjoy a coffee. London can offer so much so we try to make the most of it and we’re off to the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden soon.
“I love to be outside so will go to the forest with my dog a lot and I’m learning guitar at the minute too. I like to step aside from football sometimes so when I come back to training the next day I can feel like my head is clear.”
In some ways Romain is far removed from the stereotype of a professional footballer and even admits to not owning a television.
“The story is that I did have a TV in France, but when we moved, there was a lot of things to organise at first so we went without to start with. A few weeks passed and we suddenly realised we still didn’t have one. I said to my girlfriend: “Ah, that wasn’t too bad.” Then the weeks kept coming and we were speaking more together, finding other things to do and places to visit rather than sit on the sofa and get brainwashed watching something on the TV. We are no longer victims of the TV and if we want to watch something we can get it on iTunes or on the computer, away from the adverts. I have books and the radio too, there is plenty to do.”