The O Zone: England call will give Charlie Grainger a break from making orange squash

Life at Leyton Orient: Charlie got a bit of banter from everyone

It is not every day a player from Leyton Orient gets an international call-up, so it was big news when our youth-team goalkeeper Charlie Grainger was selected for the England Under-18s squad for the game against Croatia on Wednesday. While he will have the luxury of staying at St George’s Park, it was business as usual for him after the call-up as he was on water-bottle duty for the first-team squad at our training ground last week.

One of his colleagues would shout out squad numbers and Charlie would yell back “squash” or “water” depending on the player’s preference.

The youth team chores are done on a rota giving the youngsters areas they are responsible for. They include: balls, training equipment, gym and physio room, bottles, goals, changing rooms and the dining room. The indoor jobs are the most sought-after given the weather, while balls is one of the dreaded ones. It can be a thankless task and you’ll often see a scholar clambering over a fence or into a ditch in the driving rain looking for stray balls while others enjoy lunch.

You hear some argue that young players have it easy nowadays, but from my experience they work hard from early in the morning until about 4.30pm, when they gather together and can leave once everyone has completed all of their jobs.

Charlie got plenty of congratulations from the first-teamers and a fair bit of banter too with players offering to carry things for him and asking him if his lunch was sufficient seeing as he is now an international player.

Not since the mid-1990s have we had an England call-up at youth level so it is a big achievement.

Things can change quickly, but one area of the training ground that has been quieter recently is the treatment room with Jamie Jones, our injured goalkeeper, its only occupant. For much of the season, with such a small squad, any player that is fit has been at least on the bench. Recently there have been more players fit and desperate for a game as we don’t have a reserve team playing regularly.

To get by, the coaching staff will organise friendlies on an ad-hoc basis and one was booked against Oxford United. That, unfortunately, was called off due to the weather. Instead we had a hastily arranged in-house game at the training ground. It was a bit of a stretch to get 22 players out and the teams were made up of a mix of first-team players that needed minutes, and scholars, with the odd special guest such as Danny Webb, one of our Academy coaches, who was drafted in to make up the numbers.

Despite the slightly haphazard organisation the players were thoroughly professional in their approach, particularly as the manager, Russell Slade, watched on from the sidelines. But despite their professionalism the game was brought to a halt for a couple of minutes due to uncontrollable laughter.

A couple of sports science interns ran the line, while goalkeeper coach and chief scout Kevin Dearden refereed.

Deardo is a regular referee in the training games and gets a fair amount of stick for his decisions. He is renowned for not being the most mobile. At one point in the play one of our scholars, Scott Kashket, was making a dash through the middle.

Deardo stepped out of his way but unknowingly right into the path of Marvin Bartley, our midfielder,  who was pursuing Scott at full pelt. Marv is somewhat of a powerhouse and Deardo was left on his back like an upturned tortoise while everyone else was bent over double.

Arts and Entertainment
Louis Theroux: By Reason of Insanity takes him behind the bars again
tvBy Reason of Insanity, TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Cassetteboy's latest video is called Emperor's New Clothes rap
videoThe political parody genius duo strike again with new video
Sport
Seth Rollins cashes in his Money in the Bank contract to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
WWERollins win the WWE World Heavyweight title in one of the greatest WrestleMania's ever seen
Arts and Entertainment
Jim Davidson performs his comedy show at Edinburgh Festival 2014
TV
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor