O's head back to Harlow in much better place compared to 2017
PUBLISHED: 13:00 05 July 2018
Simon O'Connor Photography
Orient will head up the M11 with a settled squad, a manager who has been in place for a while and with everyone aware of what is ahead this season
Leyton Orient return to Harlow Town on Saturday for the second summer in succession in a much better place compared to 2017.
The O’s faced the Bostik Premier club last year on July 15 in their first competitive pre-season game under the new regime of owners Nigel Travis and Kent Teague.
12 months down the line, Orient will head to Harlow Arena with a settled squad, a manager who has been in place for a lengthy period of time and with everyone at the club aware of what is ahead.
While the National League was a mystery last season, there will be no excuses or surprises this time around and the O’s will be out to show they mean business on Saturday.
Steve Davis’ Orient won 6-1 in the 2017 meeting and although the result isn’t important, head coach Justin Edinburgh will be keen to see his team pick up where they left off in the past campaign.
Charlie Lee, who played in the friendly last summer, said: “I am looking forward to August, but I love the pre-season games too. It is hard work, but enjoyable because we do go a while without playing a match.
“During the off-season we are not allowed to play any football really, they like us to rest up, so I am looking forward to the game at Harlow.
“I am really excited about it and I didn’t play as much as I wanted last season because of my injury, so it feels like the wait has been even longer for me.”
Lee’s return to fitness is one of many positives for Orient heading to Harlow this weekend with the club’s two new boys set to feature.
Dale Gorman and James Alabi will both hope to make their first outings for the O’s on Saturday in the 11.30am kick-off before the squad will fly out to Portugal for a training camp.
Orient will head to Albufeira in the Algarve region this Sunday and return on July 15 after a game with Benfica B on July 14, which will kick off at 7.30pm.
The pre-season training camp will give the players time together and allow Edinburgh to install his philosophy some more on the group.
Lee, who missed most of the 2017/18 campaign with anterior cruciate ligament damage to his knee, will be looking to kick on after he was able to start the final day win at Gateshead on April 28.
He praised boss Edinburgh for allowing him to get 90 minutes under his belt and is hoping to repay his faith this season.
“I used my injury as a challenge because I have never had an injury which has kept me out for longer than a few weeks,” said Lee.
“So, I did enjoy coming back and I was proud of myself and thankful for the help I received from everyone around me.
“I really appreciated the gaffer giving me a game at the end of the season because he didn’t have to do that, but I was really chuffed.”