The Retained List - The Verdict
Yesterday (Tuesday) Orient boss Russell Slade made his initial decisions on which players he wanted for the 2013/14 season starting in August.
OrientVital Reviews the players staying and leaving.
Lee Butcher - The 24 year old`s stay at Brisbane Road has come just to an end as he was recovering from a long term injury which has blighted his progress. Starting as back-up to Jamie Jones, Butcher impressed as a number two keeper before developing into an excellent League 1 keeper in the absence of Jones. He was on the standout players in the 2011/12 season before seeing his career put in jeopardy with a cruciate ligament injury suffered against Scunthorpe United in February 2012. Butcher only returned to the squad as a substitute against MK Dons last month and will consider himself unfortunate that his injury has cost him his place at Leyton Orient.
Lee Cook - Cook along with former QPR team mate Rowlands, joined as the season was just starting. His excellent technical ability alongside his dangerous crossing threat was a joy to watch this season as he provided the team with many valuable assists and goals. But the 30 year old`s fitness has been a concern for the Orient staff, as rumours about knee issues meant he was unlikely to complete two whole games each week. This factor along with the club struggling to afford him in the long term meant that Slade decided against offering the talented winger a further deal.
Charlie MacDonald - MacDonald joined in January as the O`s looked to build on a promising end to 2012. His hard working efforts were appreciated by the Orient faithful as he netted three times in 20 appearances in E10. But at 32, the former MK man is arguably on the wrong side of 30, and despite his best efforts in an Orient shirt it seems Slade is looking for a different option going into the new season.
Leon McSweeney - The full back`s two year spell at Brisbane Road has come to an end despite only being one starting appearance away from earning a one year extension to his contract. McSweeney was a popular figure amongst fans and the players at Orient for his full hearted displays on the pitch in a number of positions, notably at left back. However McSweeney was one of the summer signings of 2011, when the budget was significantly higher, likely meaning he would have been a high earner at Brisbane Road. This combined with the decrease in wage allowance this summer is likely to have cost the Irishman the chance to stay at Orient.
Martin Rowlands - Martin Rowlands added much needed experience to the centre of midfield when he joined in August last year. With the O`s struggling, he added guile and class to a midfield that looked lost in League 1. His man of the match performance against Brentford at home earned him high praise amongst the Orient fans. Rowlands was to make a significant contribution on the return match, thanks to his pile driver of a free kick. At 34 years old and like playing pal Lee Cook, Rowlands came at a price, and with the budget once again being reduced Slade has decided to look for potentially cheaper and younger options to lead the charge into the next campaign.
Jimmy Smith - Jimmy Smith`s four year association with the O`s came to an end on Tuesday. The attacking midfielder has had many highs and lows in his time with the club. He has scored many important goals, in particular in the 2010/11 season as the team got extremely close to a play-off spot. But many have been critical of his performances during times in E10, as he struggled on the right side of midfield. His late of burst of goals have not been enough to convince the manager that he is worthy of an extension to his contract, rumoured to be one of the more expensive contracts on the books.
OFFERED NEW CONTRACTS
David Mooney - The only Irishman to get a contract, Mooney has had a reasonable second season in east London. 13 goals from 42 appearances this season has convinced Russell Slade that the striker deserves a new deal. Despite his improvement in the goals department, it has been his overall play which has progressed from last season as he has begun to look a more dominant presence in the attacking areas in comparison to the season previous. If Mooney does sign, he will be looking to progress in terms of League goals for the O`s. With only five league strikes this term to his name he will have to improve that tally if he is to gain a starting place in the team for the next campaign.
Elliott Omozusi - Brought back in controversial circumstances after his prison sentence in 2011, Omozusi has looked to repair and rehabilitate his reputation as person and a footballer. He performed reasonably when called upon during the final stages of the campaign. Omozusi had a setback when he suffered a shoulder injury in the home victory against Bury. It was expected that he would be released but at only 24 and able to play a number of defensive positions, the former Fulham man has been kept on to help Orient`s defence for next season.
Romain Vincelot - Signed in February on a short term deal, the Frenchman has been a revelation in the final third of Orient`s campaign. With his tenacious tackling ability along with attacking flair, the midfielder has been a key element of the O`s late excellent run of form. He has also performed nobly at central defence whilst others have been injured. Russell Slade will hope that the Frenchman will stay in E10 next season, as the Orient manager hopes to build a team around him.
RETURNING FROM LOAN SPELLS
Anthony Griffith - The tenacious midfielder has enjoyed a successful loan spell in Burslem as they clinched promotion to League 1 for next season. With another year still left on his contract it remains to be seen what plans Russell Slade has for the Montserrat international but it is likely that he could re-join his old club permanently in the summer.
Michael Symes - Symes`s season is not over yet as Burton still face the challenge of the play-offs in a bid to get promoted to the third tier of English football. It is unlikely the forward has a future at Brisbane Road but he may be difficult to sell due to his supposed high wages at Orient. If Burton do win promotion they could make a move for Symes who is unlikely to feature in an Orient shirt next season.
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