Ressies get ready
As our young professionals return for pre-season training, development coach Clive Allen runs the rule over their performances for the reserves last term and gives us his hopes for the coming season.
As our young professionals return for pre-season training, development coach Clive Allen runs the rule over their performances for the reserves last term and gives us his hopes for them for the coming season.
The group ended their Barclays Reserve League South campaign with just one defeat in seven games, a run that included a win over eventual champions Aston Villa and draws against high-flying Arsenal and Reading.
"The average age of the side last season was young," reflected Clive. "It's a young group anyway that we're bringing through and they are developing.
"It will take time, there will be blips along the way but they are keen, enthusiastic and we're making progress. One thing is for sure, the experience they've all had last season will stand them in good stead next time around."
Here are Clive's thoughts on the squad...
Troy Archibald-Henville (14 starts, 1 sub, 2 goals) - Troy had a good season, pushed to get into the first team squad and matured over the season with playing games regularly, which was important for him. He's fitter and stronger and we'll be looking for further progress. He captained the side and took that challenge on well.
David Button (6 starts) - Went off to Grays on loan and played some competitive games, Justin Edinburgh is manager there and he was pleased with him. He acquitted himself well at the end of the season, talked well and that came from going out on loan. He's growing in stature, a great size, physically still developing and mentally very tough.
Simon Dawkins (13 starts, 1 sub, 2 goals) - He was frustrated by injury and that upset his rhythm. He had chances, didn't score the goals he wanted to and knows he needs to improve on his ratio of goals to chances. I'm sure he will.
Dorian Dervite (7 starts, 2 subs, pictured below) - We had to be careful in terms of bringing him back from a serious knee injury, he worked very hard, showed great character to get fit again and played nine games. His confidence is growing again and it's ideal he played those games before the end of the season.
Tommy Forecast (7 starts) - Always consistent, had to be patient as is the case with the goalkeepers. Gained experience with the first team at the end of last season and that will stand him in good stead.
Kyle Fraser-Allen (5 starts, 2 subs) - Very enthusiastic, sharp, quick and progressed as much as anyone coming out of the Academy last season, will be looking to progress.
Cian Hughton (13 starts, 1 sub) - Still developing and working hard at all aspects of his game. His level of consistency was very good over the season and deserved his new contract.
Danny Hutchins (1 start, 6 subs) - Intelligent passer of the ball, reads the game well, a good footballer who works hard at his game. Moves up to the reserve team squad from the Academy and will be a valuable member.
David Hutton (6 starts, 4 subs, 1 goal, pictured below) - Had spells last season when he showed exactly what he's capable of. Finished the season strongly - a sharp, bright player.
Jake Livermore (12 starts, 2 goals) - Showed he's physically strong and capable at reserve level, went on loan to MK Dons, a team on the up and thoroughly enjoyed that experience. I know they were pleased with him and he wasn't out of his depth at that level. Can now build on it.
Jacques Maghoma (9 starts, 1 goal) - Frustrating season broken up by injuries and therefore lacked consistency. He has developed physically and hopefully will come on for that next season.
Kieran McKenna (3 starts) - Kieran has been sadly missed because of his injuries and knowing him, he'll work hard to get back and I'm sure we'll see him back next season.
Leigh Mills (6 starts) - Struggled with an ankle injury and that resulted in surgery, he's now stronger and will go on loan to Brentford next season. I know he will be determined to do well.
Takura Mtandari (2 starts, 7 subs) - Did well when we played him in a different central midfield role, he's versatile and did well in games when we needed that solid base, showed good discipline.
Tomas Pekhart (13 starts, 5 goals, pictured below) - A goalscorer and typically big, tall, centre-forward who has worked hard on his game and is looking to develop. Has done well internationally as well and you can't underestimate that.
Danny Rose (9 starts, 1 sub, 1 goal) - Found it tough initially because of injury but overcame that and we saw impressive displays at the end of the season. An aggressive midfielder who wants to drive forward into the opposition penalty box and make things happen.
Loanees - Charlie Daniels thoroughly enjoyed it at Orient, he found it tough but the reports back were that he did well. He was heavily involved as they went to the top of the league in the first part of the season. Andy Barcham joined him later and had that experience of playing regularly in League One. It was a fantastic experience for them, very beneficial.