Gill hails influence of Edwards, Thomas and Webb after O’s departure
PUBLISHED: 17:00 10 December 2018
Simon O'Connor Photography
The former professional development phase lead coach moved to Barnet earlier this month
Ex-Leyton Orient coach Pete Gill has paid tribute to Andy Edwards, Richard Thomas and Danny Webb after leaving the club to join Barnet recently.
The 28-year-old has moved to the Bees to become academy manager at the Hive, but hailed the influence of the aforementioned trio when discussing his O’s departure.
Former Academy Director Edwards and one-time under-18 boss Thomas laid the foundations for so many youngsters to come through, along with Danny Webb, and Gill thanked the trio after officially exiting O’s last week.
He said: “Danny is more of a mate than a work colleague now and I was very lucky because at Orient I had three people who really influenced and shaped me.
“I had Andy Edwards, Richard Thomas and Danny and I am today a little bit of each and I have tried to make an amalgamation of all three.
“They have shaped me and made me who I am and the way I think about football, the way I act, the way I speak, the way I view the game and the way I coach is down to them.
“I am very privileged because they all had different strengths, they were all different characters with different personalities and I think I have managed to take a little bit from each, which is a great thing for me.”
Edwards moved to Orient in 2009 and Thomas and Webb joined him in 2011 and the trio have played a huge part in helping the club produce so many successful academy graduates.
While Edwards and Thomas left during the tumultuous 2016/17 campaign and never returned, Webb did come back after a brief departure and he worked closely with Gill during the 2017/18 season.
Current O’s boss Justin Edinburgh promoted Webb to be part of his coaching staff at the start of this year and it saw Gill take over the youth-team again.
During his three-and-a-half years at Orient, the talented coach managed the under-10s, under-13s, under-14s, under-16s and finally the under-18s on separate occasions.
When Gill worked within the academy set-up, O’s reached the third round of the FA Youth Cup during both the 2016/17 campaign and 2017/18 term.
He was also involved when Orient won the English Football League Youth Alliance Merit Division 2 title in May, but his success at the club cannot simply be measured in terms of results.
“It was a fast journey. I originally came in to work with the under-10s,” Gill admitted. “So, I went from the babies all the way up to the bigger ones in the end and it was a good journey.
“I follow some of the clubs on Twitter where our boys are now playing in the Football League and that is one of the nicest parts of a Saturday afternoon – to see Steven Alzate playing on loan for Swindon Town, to see Victor (Adeboyejo) coming off the bench for Barnsley and Tristan Abrahams in and around it at Exeter City.
“Then we have the boys in the first-team squad so it is great to see Myles (Judd) play most weeks and for Josh Koroma to be given a run and take his opportunity and also all the other boys in and around the first-team.
“Dan Happe is waiting in the wings and whenever he has been called upon he has been superb, so seeing all those boys develop is the most pleasing thing and a thing I look back on with great pride.”