The U18s are sure to have leant valuable lessons this campaign after enduring a tough run. Academy staff have got the youngsters playing fantastic football, with results not always reflecting performances.
A stellar showing saw Orient defeat Newport County away from home 2-1, with Jayden Sweeney and Diego Dunbar-Bonne finding the net in the first-half to secure three points in early March.
Orient’s academy is renowned for producing talented players, with staff working tirelessly to give them the best start to their career possible. Sam Dalby and Tristan Abrahams are two stand-out names who have recently come through the ranks in East London.
Josh Koroma and Dan Happe are two prime examples of players who have worked their way up to earn regular starting spots for the senior team. Koroma has been a regular in the first team for some time now. However, Dan Happe had to wait patiently until January for his opportunity. The centre-back has not looked back and brandishes a hat-trick of player of the month awards in 2019, proving a key man as Orient look to secure promotion back to the Football League.
The academy offers yet more promise; left-back Jayden Sweeney has been capped twice this campaign by Justin Edinburgh, with the 17-year old cementing his name in the minds of O’s fans with two solid performances.
Hector Kyprianou agreed his first professional contact with the club in late November, with the young midfielder set to stay with the club until 2021. Kyprianiou, who represents Cyprus at u19 level, has worked his way up from the O’s u14 team.
Brendon Shabani continues to be recognised for his efforts with the midfielder coming close to picking up a first team debut, making the bench for the FA Trophy fixture at home against Blyth Spartans.
Opportunity is a word that fits the bill kindly in relation to the O’s academy. With a season rife with injuries, u16 players have had the opportunity to compete at a higher level. Names such as Wynford Marfo and Kyrell Palmer starring at the back. In recent months Aridas Vilinauskas has shone in goal for the u18s, as he competes with the talented Sean Campbell for the starting spot in the team.
Former O’s man Charles Clayden recently sealed his first professional contract, signing for fellow-Londoners Charlton Athletic. Clayden played 28 minutes from the bench in Orient’s 3-1 victory against Gateshead at the end of last season.
Worth a mention…
Lawrence Hammond’s goal vs Gillingham:
A stand out move saw the O’s score what could easily be one of the best goals scored this season. Lawrence Hammond volleyed home first time to finish a glorious move from his team. Right-back Jeremie Sivi carried the ball 40-yards, dribbling through the midfield before releasing the ball wide to Brian Ifeanyi.
Ifeanyi, on as a substitute, his first input into the game would be to assist Hammond. The youngster beat his marker with pace before a drilled ball to the edge of the area was coolly turned home by the right-boot of Hammond. A superb team move, with the goal making the score 1-1 with 56 minutes played.
One more to go
The squad travel to Gloucestershire to take on Forest Green Rovers this weekend in the final scheduled fixture of the season.