Non-League Notes: Leyton Orient, a club reborn

Leyton Orient are a club reborn.

Almost a club that was very close to going to the wall just over 12 months ago and after suffering relegation from the Football League for the first time in their 112 year history, the immediate outlook and the future looked very bleak.

The appointment of Justin Edinburgh in November last year came at a time when a double relegation was becoming more of a possibility with Orient struggling to acclimatise to non-league football which befalls a lot of clubs coming down from league football.

Edinburgh however steadied the ship and guided the club to a 13th place finish and gave the supporters more optimism going forward than what could have been the case.

Having previously taken Newport County back to the Football League through the play offs, Edinburgh like many others in the division knows what it takes to get a club back up to where they believe they should be.

Orient finally surrendered their unbeaten record last weekend in a 1-0 loss to Sutton Utd but had previously dispatched unbeaten Harrogate Town away from home. The table however is very tight at the top and a single defeat can send any side in the top 6 crashing down a few places.

Edinburgh’s squad has a good spine to the team, one that promotion hopes can be rested upon. The experienced Dean Brill in goal, George Elokobi and Josh Coulson in defence, Jobi McAnuff in midfield and goals aplenty from striker Macauley Bonne can provide the tools for Orient to stay within that promotion zone throughout the season. There is very experienced back up in the striking department for this level in James Alabi and Matt Harrold.

Support on the terraces is returning as fans can see the club they knew of 3-4 years ago, when they reached the play-offs and were looking up instead of down now has a sense of stability in the boardroom after turbulent times under the stewardship of Italian Francesco Beccehetti and the shrewd management style of Edinburgh is getting the best out of his players.

There is however a long way to go in this National League season with no doubt many twists and turns to come over the next few months, but Orient have a sound base already laid and having not been mentioned in dispatches before the season started as being in the promotion race is something that can be used to their advantage, you only have to take a look at Chesterfield to see how difficult it is in this league to make your mark and then sustain it over 9 months.

Having started so well, Orient fans will expect their team to be right in the thick of the action until the last ball is kicked and if they can maintain their start and be able to add to their numbers if things start to dip slightly, there is no reason why Orient’s suffering supporters won’t be celebrating a successful season come the end of April.


Written by Trevor Knell

Follow Trevor on Twitter @trevk37

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