Cambridge United loanee Josh Coulson feeling fit and ready for National League season with Leyton Orient

PUBLISHED: 13:00 02 August 2017

Josh Coulson of Leyton Orient and Billericay Town's Billy Bricknell battle for the ball (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo).

Josh Coulson of Leyton Orient and Billericay Town's Billy Bricknell battle for the ball (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo).

©TGS Photo +44 1376 553468

Experienced central defender knows what to expect in the top flight of non-league football and is up for the challenge

Josh Coulson is feeling fit and ready to go ahead of Leyton Orient’s National League opener at Sutton United on Saturday.

The centre back, who joined O’s on a five-month loan from Cambridge United last Friday, has played twice for his new team already.

Coulson got through 90 minutes on Saturday at Billericay Town (2-1 win) and another 45 at home to Arsenal’s under-23s (5-1 defeat) last night.

He said: “My ankle is fine. I felt good against Billericay and it is just about getting the minutes in.

“I needed 90 minutes, so it was good to get it in the tank and I am feeling good and ready for the season.”

The U’s fans favourite is working his way back from a serious ankle issue, which restricted him to just 12 appearances during the 2016/17 campaign.

Coulson had been a regularly for Cambridge before his injury and had a testimonial match this summer to mark 10 years at the club.

During his time at the Abbey Stadium, the defender played numerous times in the Conference Premier, which is now known as the National League.

Therefore the centre back knows exactly what to expect from the division and is hoping O’s can do well.

“I got promoted out of the National League and it is tough. It gets tougher every year, but we have a good squad, so who knows what can happen,” said Coulson.

A positive start for Orient at Sutton would help increase the already good vibe around Brisbane Road.

It will not be easy at Gander Green Lane, however, and there is the extra pressure of the BT Sport cameras watching as well.

Coulson added: “I am looking forward to Saturday. I didn’t know it was on BT Sports until the other day, so what a game to start the season.

“Hopefully we can show people what we are all about and get off to a good start.”

The 28-year-old only met his team-mates for the first time last Saturday, but can expect to get to know them a lot better over the next couple of weeks.

Coulson appears likely to partner George Elokobi at the heart of Orient’s defence this weekend in south London.

And he praised his new team-mates for helping him settle into his new surrounding straight away after coming down the M11 from Cambridge.

“It was a bit daunting going into the dressing room because it was my first time away from one club,” said Coulson.

“But the boys were brilliant and made me feel welcome. I know a few through other lads I have played with, so they knew I was coming and made me settle in easier.”

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