Orient fans identify City striker as mystery goal-scorer
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
It didn't take Leyton Orient supporters long to identify the trialist who had scored for their team in a pre-season win on Saturday, quickly deciding the striker was Norwich City youngster Tyrese Omotoye.
The 18-year-old hasn't been involved in pre-season for City with the first team or U23s, after returning from a disappointing first taste of loan action with Swindon in League One last season.
It was thought that meant Omotoye was likely to be on trial somewhere as he searched for his next loan move having signed a new contract in December until 2024, having impressed at U23 level and made four appearances as a substitute for the first team.
Orient fans were intrigued by a trialist being named in the starting XI ahead of their home friendly against League One side Gillingham on Saturday and that ramped up when that unnamed trialist put the Os 2-0 ahead in the 36th minute.
By that time, the Orient Twitterati had seen a photo of the player in question and deduced it was almost certainly Canaries youngster Omotoye - with subsequent video footage all but confirming their detective work, which we understand to be accurate.
The League Two club brought in former Wolves, Millwall and Portsmouth boss Kenny Jackett towards the end of last season and finished 11th.
Jackett wouldn't confirm the forward's identity but did speak about the trial spell after the match, with Omotoye capping a wonderful team goal when he prodded in from close range, having looped a header just wide earlier in the game.
"We've been impressed with him since he's been here, he's done very well," Jackett told his club's YouTube channel.
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"For such a young lad, he shows a lot of confidence as well and ability to back himself, which I do like.
"We'll see but he's with us for Monday and Tuesday of next week as well. But we've had a good look at him so far, he's contributed well to the group and getting a goal will really help him in his development."
Omotoye scored seven goals in 12 matches for City's U23s last season before coming into the first-team reckoning during an injury crisis.
He made seven appearances for Swindon but just one start and failed to find the back of the net, joining the Robins at a tumultuous time as they nosedived towards relegation amid off-field problems.
City U23s midfielder Matthew Dennis has been on trial at Southend United, with manager Phil Brown revealing he hopes to complete a loan deal, while striker Gassan Ahadme has also recently joined Portsmouth on loan after a successful trial.
Belgian defender Rocky Bushiri has similarly been with Championship side Coventry recently.
Gillingham follow that friendly defeat at Orient with a pre-season game at Carrow Road on Tuesday, with Norwich doing all they can to stamp out the Covid-19 outbreak in their squad that saw last week's games against Coventry and Sheffield United cancelled.