The O Zone: 'Kevin Lisbie has Jeremy Kyle on the TV, which has become a habit'

Life behind the scenes at Leyton Orient

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The Independent Football

Last week I gave our defender Scott Cuthbert the club video camera to get an insight into a day in the life of a player. Full credit to Scotty who returned the camera next day unbroken, with over half an hour’s worth of footage on it. You can see the video below so I thought I might share the findings of it with you in this week’s column.

Training starts at 10.30am and the players have to be in by 10am though the majority start arriving from 9. The early birds will make a bowl of cereal or porridge and sit in the dining room chatting and flicking through a newspaper whilst the scholars mill about around them getting on with their chores. After that it’s time to get changed and head into the gym, or to the physio room. Before training each player has a gym programme to complete compiled by Lee, the head of sports science, who is usually flying about making sure that all the players have done it, whilst others are in the physio room having a rub or getting treatment.

By 10.15am the majority have done their gym work and are gathered in the main room where Kevin Lisbie has Jeremy Kyle on the TV, which has become habit. The teas are being distributed – green tea seems to be the drink of choice at the moment - and if there’s one thing I’ve learnt working in football is that if you make yourself a cup of tea and don’t offer to make everyone else who’s present one, then your life isn’t worth living as Kev, especially, can spot a ‘selfish tea’ from a mile away.

Just before 10.30am it’s time for the meeting where the gaffer runs through some video clips of the opposition from the next game. The clock has disappeared in the main room and a couple of others have been changed by pranksters in recent weeks to try and create a few latecomers - being late for a meeting carries a fine.

After that, it’s boots on and out for training.

VIDEO: A day in the life of an Orient player starring Scott Cuthbert (via

Training varies every day but the lads will always go with Lee for the first half-an-hour or so for a warm-up before Kevin Nugent, our assistant manager, leads the main session whilst the gaffer Russell Slade watches on and chips in when necessary. Training on this particular day ends with a bit of 6-a-side that, as ever, is fiercely competitive. Some of the lads head in after that whilst Scott stays out for a bit of extra work. Having been deployed largely as a right back this season, instead of in the middle of the back four, he’s put a lot of work into the attacking side of his game and is busy working on receiving a pass out wide, getting the ball out of his feet and crossing for the forwards to finish.

Training finishes usually around 12.15pm, and after that the place is chaotic to say the least. The windows are steamed up as the first team and scholars all pile in for lunch plus there are a few others about. Howard Gould, our community liaison officer, goes round to the players to remind them of their community commitments that week whilst our club Chaplain has popped in to speak to a few of the lads and provide any support should they seek it.

A lot of the lads are back in the gym doing their weight routines whilst Lee leads a boxing session on the pads in the gym. That always gathers a crowd as the players seem to be quite competitive about who has the best technique.

By 1.30pm the lads are starting to make tracks. It’s a tight-knit group and the majority share lifts. On a Thursday, Scott, Nathan Clarke, Mathieu Baudry, Gary Sawyer and Jamie Jones who all live near each other have a weekly afternoon hangout named ‘ TNBN’ which is an abbreviation for ‘Thursday Night Boy’s Night’. This week they head over to Jonesey’s house where they have a coffee, play darts and get stuck into the new PS4.