Omer Riza lines up pre-season friendlies but no official news on what future holds for Leyton Orient
PUBLISHED: 12:00 16 May 2017
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When you take a closer look at Orient’s expected pre-season opposition, you can see the thinking behind it
Leyton Orient boss Omer Riza still remains in limbo about his own future, but has been busy putting plans in place at the Brisbane Road club.
Although nothing has been confirmed by O’s, it does appear the National League club have some friendly games pencilled in.
Orient will kick off their new season with a trip to Harlow Town on July 11, before League Two new boys Lincoln City visit Brisbane Road a week later.
Championship outfit Reading are set to travel to east London on July 29, while two games have been arranged for August 1.
O’s will take an XI to Ryman North side Aveley and most likely a stronger team to Dulwich Hamlet on the same Tuesday evening.
The pre-season schedule is not as strong as last summer, but it is to be expected with Orient suffering relegation this year.
Andy Hessenthaler arranged clashes with League One sides Charlton Athletic and Gillingham in 2016, while National League teams Dagenham & Redbridge, Woking and Dover Athletic also provided stiff opposition.
O’s will this time take on one League Two team in Lincoln and two Ryman Premier clubs in Dulwich Hamlet and Harlow Town and of course the game with Reading should be a decent test if it is their first team.
When you take a closer look at the pre-season opposition, you can see the thinking behind it.
The Harlow Arena will host the O’s on July 11 and it will give the squad a taste of life on a 3G pitch.
Orient will play on three surfaces made up of synthetic fibers during their debut campaign in the National League.
Bromley, Sutton United and Maidstone United all play on 3G pitches, so it makes sense for the east Londoners to get a taste of that during pre-season.
Meanwhile, the clash with the Imps will provide a barometer of what level Orient need to reach for them to win promotion back to the Football League.
Lincoln won the National League title last season, claiming 99 points from their 46 games, and the way their boss Danny Cowley prepares, he will not view the Brisbane Road clash as a friendly.
As it stands, O’s will end with a game at Dulwich Hamlet and their average attendance for the 2016/17 campaign was 1,317.
Orient can expect a hostile atmosphere at Champion Hill, which will set them up nicely for what is in store in their debut season in the National League.