Orient’s academy have massively produced, says ‘proud’ Gill
PUBLISHED: 08:00 26 December 2018
Simon O'Connor Photography
A plethora of youngsters are playing in the top five divisions of English football after starting out with Leyton Orient
Pete Gill is extremely proud of everything Leyton Orient have achieved over the last couple of years with regard to developing youngsters.
The O’s academy was a rare glimmer of light during the dark days when Francesco Becchetti was in charge.
Gill witnessed it all and had a number of different youth-team roles at Orient while the Italian was chairman and owner of the east Londoners.
It eventually ended in tears with the O’s going down from League Two at the end of the 2016/17 campaign, but it was not all negative that term.
The youth team reached the third round of the FA Youth Cup and a number of players progressed into the first team and while a lot have moved on from E10, they will live long in the memory of supporters.
In actual fact Gill has also left Orient now to take over as Barnet’s academy manager, but he still looks out for the likes of Sam Dalby, Steven Alzate, Tristan Abrahams, Toby Stevenson and several others who started at O’s.
He said: “Sam’s journey was an interesting one because he came in quite late and then almost within 12 months of being in the system he had made his debut and scored that infamous goal against Crawley Town.
“It was a crazy one, but there are so many players and look at Toby Stevenson, who started his first league game for Charlton Athletic recently and he now looks like he is starting to show potential and signs of having a career.
“I think it will only be a matter of time before Sam starts to get a run in the Championship or goes on loan to a Football League club, but Steven Alzate, for me, is probably the most talented and gifted player I have ever seen in those ages groups, yet there are others!
“And when you think Leyton Orient is a category three academy and when you look at the facilities and equipment, I think Leyton Orient have massively produced as an academy, well above what they should do.
“We are starting to see that with the amount of boys who are starting to have careers and who will go on to have careers, so there are a lot of players who will have really bright futures that would have come through the gates at Leyton Orient.”