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O’s offer new deals to McAnuff and four others from title-winning squad

PUBLISHED: 18:30 20 May 2019

Leyton Orient captain Jobi McAnuff attempts to tackle an AFC Fylde opponent during the FA Trophy final (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Leyton Orient captain Jobi McAnuff attempts to tackle an AFC Fylde opponent during the FA Trophy final (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Simon O'Connor Photography

The club confirm Charlie Grainger, Alex Lawless, Charlie Lee and Jay Simpson will depart Brisbane Road on June 30th

Leyton Orient players make the walk up the Wembley steps to collect their FA Trophy runner-up medals (pic: Simon O'Connor).Leyton Orient players make the walk up the Wembley steps to collect their FA Trophy runner-up medals (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Leyton Orient have stepped up plans for the 2019/20 season after ending the past campaign on Sunday with a 1-0 FA Trophy final defeat at Wembley to AFC Fylde.

The O's missed out on winning the 'Non-League Double', but bid farewell to life outside of the Football League with almost 25,000 of their fans in attendance.

Boss Justin Edinburgh wasted no time with his preparation for League Two and Craig Clay agreed a new two-year deal this morning.

In addition to this, the club have announced a retained list and confirmed four players would definitely move on.

Last week Charlie Lee and Charlie Grainger revealed they would depart Orient on June 30 and following them out the door will be Alex Lawless and Jay Simpson, who scored once in his second spell in E10.

Both Lee and Lawless played a key role in the National League title win and manager Edinburgh hailed the professionalism of the pair on various occasions.

The O's do wish to keep Jamie Turley, Joe Widdowson, captain Jobi McAnuff, James Dayton and Matt Harrold, however, and are hopeful they will.

Discussions are taking place regarding extending the deals of those five, but forward James Alabi has been transfer-listed after a tough campaign.

While Alabi's popularity in the squad cannot be questioned, on the pitch he failed to make the impact expected and struggled for goals.

Leyton Orient forward James Alabi celebrates after an own-goal earns a dramatic point at Salford City on the opening day of the season (pic: Simon O'Connor).Leyton Orient forward James Alabi celebrates after an own-goal earns a dramatic point at Salford City on the opening day of the season (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Elsewhere, academy players Arthur Janata, Jayden Sweeney, Hector Kyprianou and Brendon Shabani are all expected to sign professional terms.

Kyprianou did agree a pro deal back in November, but will officially put pen to paper shortly.

Speaking before the FA Trophy final, Edinburgh insisted he would give his title-winning squad the chance to show they can play in League Two and, as always, he has stuck to his word.

O's head coach said: "There will be some tough calls and we believe if we can keep the squad together, which we believe we will, then we will be competitive.

"I think these players have earned the right to have a crack at League Two. I have always believed in continuity.

"To change 10 to 11 players year on, year out I don't see as the way forward. Less is best for me.

"I think we know each other inside out and know what we demand of one another and we know what to expect.

"The level of trust has increased, but what comes with that is greater demand from one another, so hopefully there will not be too much chopping and changing and we can keep the squad together."

After such a successful campaign, it will now be full steam ahead to try and help O's enjoy more highs back in the Football League.


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