Young professional Sam Dalby had his day extended last week as following on from his double training session in Chigwell he was then a guest of honour at the Norlington Boys School gala evening award ceremony that commenced at 7pm.
Held annually at the Waltham Forest Civic Hall, this was Sam’s second appearance and after viewing a slide of his achievements followed by a video of his debut goal against Crawley last season on a huge screen above the stage, he was greeted with warm applause as he was announced to hand out an award certificate to each of the year group’s PE and sports winners.
The school has had a long and fruitful relationship with the O’s and current Deputy Head Teacher Paul Hobbs has also been a coach for Essex Schools crossing paths with some future Orient players along the way, such as Sam.
“Sam played for my Essex Schools Representative side that won the National Cup at the Madjeski Stadium in 2014,” explained Paul.
“Playing as a goal scoring midfielder for the county side. As a friend of Miguel De Souza (recent Head of Academy Recruitment at Orient), I arranged for Sam to come down and train with the academy and from there he hasn't looked back.
“It is fantastic to see him doing so well. I invited him along as he is an excellent role model for our young men. He is a talented footballer and also worked extremely hard achieving 10 A*/A grades in his GCSE's.”
And Sam said, “It’s was nice to have been asked to present the awards once again. I’m pleased that I can help although being seen as a role model is quite strange. I’m still young and have lots yet to achieve myself.”
The school will be attending the Tuesday night game against Gateshead on October 24 whilst a selected few from their Year 9s will be taking on their counterparts from George Mitchell school in a half time penalty shoot-out!