An end of the Ling Dynasty at the O’s

MARTIN LING spent almost 13 years at Orient as both a player and manager until he was sacked less than 24 hours after the recent home defeat by Bristol Rovers. The former O s boss talks exclusively to Trevor Davies about his time at the club, his departur

MARTIN LING spent almost 13 years at Orient as both a player and manager until he was sacked less than 24 hours after the recent home defeat by Bristol Rovers.

The former O's boss talks exclusively to Trevor Davies about his time at the club, his departure and what the future holds.

MARTIN LING had spent almost half his working life employed by Leyton Orient - quite an achievement in today's results-driven football industry.

He signed for the club in the summer of 1996 as a cultured midfield player, who had tasted life in the top flight, and after four seasons, he joined the coaching staff.


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Ling became youth team manager and moved through the ranks to take charge of the senior side in September 2003.

The O's had been the major focus in his life - but that all changed after the side slipped to their seventh home defeat of the season against Bristol Rovers a couple of weeks ago.

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Less than 24 hours later, Ling was out of a job as he found himself thrown off the football merry-go-round and on to the unemployment list at a moment's notice.

Instead of preparing the team for the derby duel with Southend, Ling was left kicking his heels at home.

"It was difficult," admitted the 42-year-old former Orient boss. "Being a manager is all consuming and suddenly there is nothing to do. When Orient were playing Southend, I was playing darts in the garage with my son. It was weird.

Strangest

"It was probably the strangest night of my life. After 12-and-a-half years of going to Orient, suddenly I was not involved.

"I sent a text to Deano (Dean Smith) and said this is really weird. I got a text back saying 'we're in the twilight zone,' and he was right."

When the chop came, Ling was the sixth-longest serving manager in the game and he took the news philosophically ......

To read the full interview with Martin Ling, see this week's super RECORDER.

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