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Club News

In Opposition: Leyton Orient

6 July 2017

Brisbane Road
Brisbane Road is home to Leyton Orient

Formed: 1881
The O’s

Who’s in charge?
Omer Riza became Leyton Orient’s fifth manager of last season when he stepped up to replace Danny Webb at the Brisbane Road helm at the end of March.

The 37-year-old had been acting as assistant to Webb but took the top job following his departure and remains in charge of Orient as the 2017/18 campaign moves closer.

A former Arsenal trainee, Riza debuted for the Gunners’ First Team in 1998 before earning further senior experience with a loan move to Dutch side ADO Den Haag.

A spell with West Ham United followed before he joined Cambridge United in 2002 prior to a five-year spell playing in Turkey for Denizlispor and Trabzonspor.

Riza returned to England with Shrewsbury Town in 2009 then Aldershot in 2010 before seeing out his playing days in the non-league scene with Histon, Boreham Wood, Chelmsford City and Cheshunt.

He stepped in to management with Cheshunt in 2013 – initially as caretaker – and also acted as assistant boss at Heybridge Swifts before joining the staff at Leyton Orient.

How did they get on last season?
Leyton Orient endured a miserable 2016/17 campaign which saw them relegated from the Football League for the first time in 112 years.

Their demise was set against the backdrop of financial troubles as the supporters turned against their Italian owner Francesco Becchetti following turmoil behind the scenes at Brisbane Road.

Fans spilled on to the pitch following their 2-1 win over Pools in April, turning up the heat on Bechetti after he had failed to pay staff and players their wages and news of a further winding-up petition.

On the field it hadn’t been much better for O’s supporters. Having been so close to promotion to the Championship in 2013/14, Orient slipped back in to League Two in 2015/16 and registered just 36 points last term as they fell in to the National League.

When did we last meet?
Pools were beaten 2-1 when the sides clashed at Brisbane Road on Easter Monday as a youthful Orient outfit recovered from Rhys Oates’ early opener to collect three points.

It meant that The O’s completed the league double over Pools having run out 3-1 winners when they visited Victoria Park last October.

That acted as a little form of revenge for the London outfit having been beaten on each of the three previous meetings between the sides up to last season.

Where do they play?
Brisbane Road has been home to Leyton Orient since it first opened back in 1937. It’s an all-seater stadium which has the capacity to hold up to 9,271 fans.

When do we play them?
We will travel to Leyton Orient on Saturday 28th October before welcoming The O’s to Victoria Park on Saturday 3rd February 2018.

Inside View
Mark Carruthers of brings us some insight on Orient’s chances ahead of the campaign…

“It has to be hoped Leyton Orient can focus on football now that with former owner Francesco Becchetti is in the past.

“It’s been an interesting summer for the club, surviving a winding-up order, being taken over by a consortium led by a life-long supporter Nigel Travis, asking their manager to reapply for his job and bringing club legend Martin Ling back as Director of Football.

“Oh, and former honorary president Barry Hearn returned to the club in the same role, three months after leaving as a protest against Becchetti not paying staff.

“All of that means they are playing catch-up.

“Pre-season fixtures were only announced last week and the futures of their players are still to be decided.

“A first signing has been made, with former Orient striker David Mooney returning to the club after a spell with Southend United. More have to follow.

“The Orient supporters have been through a lot in the last three years and having the club start the season is a big plus.  Serious doubt was cast over their future in the last twelve months but now they have momentum and a start point.

“A lot depends on what happens once a new manager is appointed and what players he starts the season with.

“But for Orient to still be in existence means more than on-field success ever could.”

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