It's forward march as Scowcroft signs

ORIENT boss Geraint Williams added another piece to the jigsaw this week as striker James Scowcroft became his fifth summer signing, WRITES TREVOR DAVIES. Williams has completely re-shaped the strike force during the summer, with Ryan Jarvis the only surv

ORIENT boss Geraint Williams added another piece to the jigsaw this week as striker James Scowcroft became his fifth summer signing, WRITES TREVOR DAVIES.

Williams has completely re-shaped the strike force during the summer, with Ryan Jarvis the only surviving forward from the Martin Ling era, as Scott McGleish and Adrian Patulea have also signed in the close season.

However, Matt Richards, who travelled with the club on their pre-season tour of Ireland, has been released.

Scowcroft is the most high-profile arrival this summer, after the former Crystal Palace striker signed a one-year deal on Monday, and made his debut late on during Tuesday night's 3-2 defeat at Ebbsfleet.


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The 33-year-old has spent his entire career in the top two divisions of English football and was the subject of a �3m move to Leicester City back in July 2001.

Scowcroft and McGleish will bring a physical presence to the Orient front line. The former Palace striker normally plays as a target man down the middle and one of his strengths is holding the ball up.

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Scowcroft and boss Williams, were once team-mates at Ipswich Town, and the striker is delighted to be linking up with him again as he makes the short trip across the capital.

The forward, who joined his new team-mates for training on Monday, said: "I'm looking forward to my new challenge at Leyton Orient. It's always an uncertain time as a footballer when you're out of contract and it did drag over the summer, which wasn't great, but it's nice to have signed for Orient now.

"The fact that I knew the manager from our time at Ipswich was one of the reasons behind my decision to come here. I've known him for several years now and we've always kept in touch.

"He's done very well here since he came into the club and it's a good set-up, so I had no hesitation in agreeing to sign.

"The manager is a very ambitious person - you could see that with what he achieved last season.

"He's not a negative manager at all and he gets the best out of everyone at the football club."

Having played for Ipswich, Leicester, Coventry and Palace, Scowcroft will be looking to help fire the O's towards promotion.

"It would be nice to get back into the Championship with Orient," he smiled.

"It's going to be a tough league this year and there are some big clubs around, but I don't think there will be a lot of difference between all of the teams.

"Whoever is the most consistent will be up there. I'm sure we have got a squad here that's capable of achieving a lot and I'd be delighted to play my part in that."

Williams was pleased with his latest addition, and said: "We've been talking to James about a transfer here for a while and I'm really pleased to add him to our squad.

"He's a good player who scores goals and I feel he will have a big part to play for us this season."

Scowcroft netted 47 goals in just over 200 Championship games for Ipswich between 1995 and 2001 and won five England under-21 caps.

He spent four seasons at Leicester, after a big-money move to the Foxes, and netted 28 times. Two of those seasons were spent in the Premier League and after a season at Coventry, he joined Palace three years ago in a �500,000 deal, scoring 14 times in 83 games, before being released in the summer.

Scowcroft will be handed the number 22 shirt, which means that there are now just two blank spaces left on the team list.

Following the release of trialists Richards and Dominic Casciato, a left-sided defender seems to be a priority now for Williams and trialist Haraldur Gudmundsson, an Icelandic international whose last club was Apollon Limassol of the Cypriot League, played for the last 17 minutes at Ebbsfleet.

Williams added: "Matt and Dominic travelled to Ireland and gave a good account of themselves, but at this moment in time, we won't be offering either of them contracts."

But with some impressive summer signings, it's unlikely the O's boss will have much left in the budget to lure any more big-name signings.

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