Joe Widdowson says he has fond memories of Dagenham & Redbridge spell after joining Leyton Orient

PUBLISHED: 18:00 06 July 2017

Joe Widdowson in action for Dagenham & Redbridge (pic: David Simpson/TGS Photo)

Joe Widdowson in action for Dagenham & Redbridge (pic: David Simpson/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo +44 1376 553468

Defender left Daggers for local rivals O’s after contract expired

Joe Widdowson says he will look back on his time with Dagenham & Redbridge fondly after joining local rivals Leyton Orient on a free transfer.

The left-back has signed a two-year deal with the O’s, who will compete with Daggers in the National League next season.

Widdowson initially joined the Essex club on loan from Bury in November 2014, before making the switch permanent the following January.

In all, the former West Ham United youngster made over 100 appearances in all competitions for Daggers, including starting all but one of last season’s league games.

In that time, Widdowson was part of the squad that was relegated from the Football League in 2016.

However, after making the play-offs with Daggers last term, the defender says that will help him look back on his time at Victoria Road as a positive spell.

“I had a great time with Dagenham, they are a really good club,” he told the Leyton Orient website.

“I was at Dagenham for two-and-a-half years and I really enjoyed it.

“We had a good season last year, we got to the semis of the play-offs and didn’t quite have enough to get over the line, but I’ll have fond memories of my time with Dagenham.”

Last season was a first campaign in the National League for Widdowson, having previously plied his try exclusively in the Football League.

The Forest Gate native started more league games than any other Daggers player last term and played in both full-back roles.

Widdowson was perhaps one of the more consistent performers for John Still’s men last term as they finished fourth in the division.

But the left-back admits he was a little surprised at first by how competitive the division was in his first experience of it.

“It was a new experience for me playing in the National League last season, but I soon got to realise it’s a tough league. You go to a lot of difficult places and only one team gets promoted automatically, so it’s very hard to get out of.”

Widdowson’s departure does leave Daggers with a hole to fill in defence as pre-season gets underway.

But Daggers boss John Still is sure to already have a few targets in mind.

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