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The Orient Express: Leyton Orient

Started on 4 August 2017 by KroosControl
Latest Reply on 5 August 2017 by KroosControl
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Leyton Orient

Club Information

Year Founded: 1881
Nickname: The O's/Orient
Stadium: Brisbane Road
Capacity: 9,271
Chairman: Francesco Becchetti
Manager: N/A
Rivals: West Ham, Southemd United, Brentford, Dagenham & Redbridge



Division Three South Winners 1955–56
Division Three Champions 1969–70





Achieve promotion to League One

Survive a future board takeover

Survive in League 1

Achieve promotion to the Championship

Survive in the Championship

Achieve a top half finish in the Championship

Achieve promotion to the Premier League

Survive in the Premier League

Gain entry to a European competition

Win a cup competition

Win the Premier League

Win the Europa League (if possible)

Win the Champions League

The Beginning of The End

...Saw those dreams dashed and divided.

Cup final day: Palm Rovers vs AFC Lindal in the Cumbria County Cup. The clock was ticking down, minute by minute and second by second, the scoreline at one apiece with two minutes to go. Something had to change, the opposition knew exactly how to keep us out. One dimensional was an understatement, the long, direct football approach trying to use James' height to our advantage, however the Palm Rovers defender, who must have been about 6'5ft had the lanky Scotsman in his back pocket.

'Get the ball out wide for f*ck sake!' I belted out. To my surprise, I received the ball and began a tricky run down the wing, looking up when I could to look for support in the area. I continued and cut inside onto my stronger right foot, playing a one-two with Dean to get inside the penalty area. I knew this was the opportunity we needed to take the lead, going for power, I swung my foot ready to connect with the ball, instead I connected with the boot of another player.

The studs of the Rovers player seemed to ricochet and go deep into my thigh, I collapsed in agony, the whistle blew for a penalty but the whole field dropped into silence with it. Teammates rushed over, shouting for first aid to enter the muddy surface. All I felt was a deep, seeping pain all down my leg, I couldn't even locate where the pain was coming from, it seemed to be the entire limb.

I simply couldn't move, I was stuck in a sea of mud and all I wanted now was to just get off the pitch. I knew that I couldn't continue, it was pretty obvious but the first aider thought it was neccessary to tell me anyway, I didn't know whether to take it as an insult or not, however I didn't care. My head was in my hands, blocking out the scene of blood and more importantly, the clear image of bone.

The paramedics arrived, I wouldn't have known at first if it weren't for the noise of the sirens, I simply tried blocking out the world. From there, I was helped onto some sort of stretcher and into the back of an ambulance. I don't remember much from after that, I was put to sleep in order to operate on, I was told that I was in the operating room for about twelve hours but when you're knocked out on gas, you obviously don't know that.

Slightly shaken, I awoke from what seemed an eternal sleep. I heard voices to my right hand side, I turned to see my girlfriend Tasha and my mum, who reached out and touched my hand, rubbing it slightly before my mum said 'Oh darling, I'm sorry.' Tasha just looked at me with a sad look in her eyes, tears seemed to be welling up before she wiped them away. 'Sorry?' I asked, 'Sorry for what, mum?' She frowned at me and said, 'Your career is over.'

Those words saw my dreams dashed and divided, the ones of making it as a footballer crushed. I seemed to be on top of the world, I had a cup final and upcoming trials with League 1 club Blackburn Rovers, nothing was going to dampen my spirits it seemed, well how wrong was I. The salt was rubbed into the wounds, the news was clarified to me by the doctor, I had to bite my tongue, I was tempted to lash out, but what ultimately would I be achieving?

I lay in the hospital bed, wrapped in bandages on my right leg with endless amounts of morphine entering my body in an attempt to stop the pain. All I could do was look up and question where I was to go now, my entire existance l had aspired to become a professional footballer, to now see those ended so prematurely you could say, I felt lost. Once my entourage left the hospital, all I could do was sob to myself a little, I had lost it.
A very disheartening beginning to your managerial career I sense, although I'm sure a few years down the line and some success for Orient will have you forgetting these painful memories! A great start to the story mate, keep it up!

A Blessing


...Football management seemed the right path for me.

Weeks had passed and so with it had the months, we were entering the start of July and I had just finished my rehabilitation. Along with physically getting stronger again,
I knew that I needed to get mentally stronger, to find my feet once again and to find what path I would take now.

Football had always been my passion. I had been watching and playing football for as long as I could remember. I was always told by my grandmother that I ought to find a new hobby, to find something to fall back on, maybe I should have taken her advice. However, she didn't understand the numerous options still available to me in the sport that I had fallen in love with.

Football management seemed the right path for me, I had found something that I knew I would enjoy and I knew that I certainly could do. With help from my mum, we found different courses and ways to obtain sufficient coaching badges to try and work my way into finding a base and the first club to kick off my new found career.

Luckily for me, I was a quick and eager learner. I knew that the season was due to start soon and that if I put in the time and effort to revise the paperwork, I could potentially land a job of some kind before a ball was kicked, whether that be down in the local County leagues or higher.

Before I knew it, I had obtained a National C license, the basic coaching badge - typically something that all National North and South manager have. We were a rather small family and so we couldn't really afford to carry on the courses just yet, the higher you go, the more you pay effectively. It's funny because they wonder why there are so few English managers climbing the ranks, perhaps it's something to do with the amount of money you have to spend in order to try and achieve.

Scouring the available jobs, I applied for all of them. There's no harm in trying, I told myself, at the end of the day you're either going to get a letter saying that the club want you to come for an interview or they don't. The applications ranged from clubs like Biggleswade Town to Swindon Town, realistically I was perhaps a bit overambitious in applying for League 1 clubs, but as I said, it was worth a shot.

A few days later, I received my post. I scanned through four letters, all but one were junk mail or unwanted mail, Sky are now going to charge me £40 a month for my basic subscription, what a joke. The other letter came from Leyton Orient, the first club to get back in touch with me regarding my application. I opened it and began reading, the letter stated:

Dear Mr Jones,
Thank you for your application to fill the vacant managerial position here at Leyton Orient Football Club. Although we'd perhaps like someone with more experience to their name within management, we can't help but love your ambition and passion for the beautiful game and so we wish to interview you at our training ground located within the London area on Wednesday 2nd July. Directions are attached to this letter with a map to also help you find the premises, a postcode is also included to enter into your Sat-Nav.
Yours Sincerely,
Francesco Becchetti

I smiled to myself, I had a huge opportunity and I wasn't going to blow it. Orient were a club that interested me, they'd be all over the media recently due to the financial situation, but also the chairman Francesco Becchetti. Although it wasn't ideal, I wasn't going to turn down the chance to manage a club within the fourth tier of the English game. On the 2nd July, I had a huge chance.


mgriffin2012, Thanks mate, glad you enjoyed the start. :)

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