Jayden Sweeney signs contract extension with Leyton Orient

Leyton Orient left-back Jayden Sweeney produced another accomplished display against Blyth Spartans

Leyton Orient left-back Jayden Sweeney produced another accomplished display against Blyth Spartans (pic: Simon O'Connor). - Credit: Archant

Leyton Orient have announced that young defender Jayden Sweeney has signed a two-year contract extension, tying him to the club until 2023.

A left-back by trade Sweeney, 19, has progressed from the academy through to the youth team, having been with The O’s since the U8 age group.

“I’m buzzing to be here again, the club means so much to me. I’ve been here for a long time, and we used to be told as a youngster, your aim is to come and play in the Stadium. So to have done that is great, and the aim is to continue that next season,” Sweeney said.

Sweeney made his first appearance for The O’s in the FA Trophy under Justin Edinburgh, but has continued to work hard behind the scenes and push towards the first team.

At the end of last season, he was rewarded, and made his Football League debut away at Salford City in the final game of the season.

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“Last season was very mixed, but there were many positives, including my league debut, which was a dream come true. Looking forward now, the aim is to play more games.”

Sweeney is the second senior play to extend his contract with the club this summer, as new manager Kenny Jackett takes the reins in E10.

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“I’m really excited by the appointment, I know he was a player for Watford, and he was a left back, so it’s a big chance for me to learn from him.”

“My aim now is to continue to improve and develop as a player, I’m still young, so this consistent development is so important.”

This comes on the back of the news that young trio Rhys Byrne, Antony Papadopoulos and Matt Young signed professional contracts earlier in the week.

Following a season of hard work, development, and involvement in and around the first team, the three put pen to paper on their first contracts.

The contracts are all one year deals, with the option of a further year in the club’s favour.

Matt Young, who made his first-team debut away at Salford City in the final game of last season’s campaign, was delighted to see his hard work pay off.

“It was a proud day for me and my family; as a kid you dream of playing the professional game, and it was incredible to achieve that.”

“Being in the first-team environment, you pick up things every day which help you learn. Previous managers and players have really helped me massively.”

Rhys Byrne, who has been training with the first-team squad for a large part of the season, spoke highly of his experiences with the likes of coach Dean Brill, and players Sam Sargeant and Lawrence Vigouroux.

“They’ve been so helpful for me coming in. Coming into the first team as a young player can be quite intimidating, but they made me feel so comfortable, taught me everything I need to know, and really helped me out.”

Having won the Youth Team Player of the Year for his performances in the academy, Antony Papadopoulos is delighted to have signed his contract, hailing it as a dream come true.

“At the start I was nervous, but the players helped me settle and helped me improve, and it’s been a really good experience.

“I’ve always wanted to be a professional footballer, and it’s been my aim since I signed here for the under 15’s.

“It’s a dream come true, and I’d like to thank all the coaches that have helped me.”

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