New signings will give us a boost says Orient striker Mooney

Leacock and Ben Youssef will provide competition for places

Orient striker David Mooney believes the arrival of defenders Dean Leacock and Syam Ben Youssef will be a big boost for the club.

“There is competition for places up front and now with four or five centre halves there is going to be competition for places at the back,” said Mooney.

“But that is a good thing and is always good for the dressing room. We are all working towards the same goal,” he added.

The arrival of the defensive duo on contracts on short-term contracts until the end of the season will give manager Russell Slade the opportunity to run the rule over them as he starts to build for the future.

The O’s boss will also have a better idea of his long-term plans once he knows whether skipper Stephen Dawson and wingers Dean Cox and George Porter have accepted new deals.

“They have all been offered contracts and I would like them to stay at the football club,” said Slade.

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Leacock is set to make his debut at Preston North End on Saturday and is a versatile defender who can also play a holding role in midfield.

The 27-year-old started his career at Fulham and played nine Premier League games for the Cottagers.

After two loan spells at Coventry he moved to Derby and has spent the last five years with the Rams, playing 127 games for them.

Slade was pleased to get his man and said: “We are delighted to add Dean to the squad. He has a fine pedigree having played all his career in the Premier League and Championship.

“We’ve had to bide our time and work hard to get our man. His determination to get his football back on track has impressed me.

“He can play centre back or right back and has also played as a sitting midfielder in the Championship.”

Ben Youssef has also signed until the end of the season and has been playing for Tunis-based club Esperance.

Born in Marseille, he started his career with SC Bastia in France before moving to Esperance in 2009.

The defender has been training with the O’s recently and did enough to earn a contract and Slade said: “He’s a young defender with potential and will provide extra depth to the squad.”

Certainly, when everyone is fit, there will be real competition for places at the back, with Scott Cuthbert, Terrell Forbes, Ben Chorley, Leacock and Ben Youssef all able to play there.