Leyton Orient teenagers Aron Pollock, Charley Barker, Ruel Sotiriou and Rian McLean ‘continuing their progression’ on loan
PUBLISHED: 14:00 03 January 2018
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Orient boss discusses why four youngsters have recently moved on loan to Leatherhead, Wingate & Finchley, Heybridge Swifts and Margate respectively
Leyton Orient head coach Justin Edinburgh has explained his thinking behind sending Aron Pollock, Charley Barker, Ruel Sotiriou and Rian McLean out on loan.
The O’s foursome departed Brisbane Road towards the end of 2017 to link up with clubs at step three and four of the non-league pyramid.
Pollock moved to Sammy Moore’s Leatherhead, of the Bostik Premier, while Barker and McLean joined fellow Premier sides Wingate & Finchley and Margate respectively.
Under-18 forward Sotiriou, meanwhile, has signed for Bostik North (step four) outfit Heybridge Swifts.
Midway through December Michael Clark returned to National League South side East Thurrock on loan having enjoyed a similar spell at the Rocks last season.
Though the five players are not near the O’s first-team right now, it may not always be the case.
Edinburgh, speaking after the 1-0 defeat at home to Bromley on December 30, said: “It is about them continuing their progression.
“We have to be mindful of the fact their game time is limited here, so we need to find them that at other clubs.
“The teams they have joined are good fits and we have people there and contacts at the various clubs.
“It is about playing men’s football and for them to progress and get in our first-team, they have got to go and sample first-team football where it matters and that’s why they have left, so they have all gone out and we are monitoring them.
“We have people watching them and we are hoping they excel and then they will come back here and if they can’t get in our team, we’ll move them onto another level, so it is just a progression and everyone does it in their career.
“At the moment we have one or two here in (Myles) ‘Juddy’ and Dan Happe that will stay in the first-team because they are at a level where they can cope with it.
“Some are not quite ready, but we’ve got to get them ready and that’s the reason behind the loans.”
Josh Koroma showed Edinburgh during the goalless draw at Dagenham & Redbridge on Monday that he is perhaps now able to cope with the demands of first-team football in the National League.
For the rest of the youngster in the Orient squad, they should be encouraging by the recent chances handed to Koroma, Happe and Judd.
It shows if they are good enough, Edinburgh isn’t afraid to give out opportunities when the time is right.
So the challenge for the academy graduates out on loan and in and around the first-team squad at Brisbane Road now is to show the boss not only do they have the ability to play for Orient, but the temperament to go with it.