Leyton Orient Capture European Championship Winning Goalkeeper

Leyton Orient have confirmed the signing of 25-year-old goalkeeper Sam Howes from Wealdstone for an undisclosed fee, according to their official website.

Howes joins the O’s on a two-year deal from National League side Wealdstone, whom he joined permanently in 2022 after two previous loan spells at the club.

Who is Sam Howes?

The London-born shot-stopper began his career at West Ham United, being named Young Hammer of the Year in 2014.

2014 proved an even more impressive year for Howes, as he was part of the England U17 side which defeated the Netherlands on penalties to win the European Championships.

The 6ft 2″ man has extensive youth pedigree, representing the Young Lions at every age group from U16’s through to U19’s, as well as receiving an England C cap in March this year, as Paul Fairclough’s side defeated Wales C 1-0.

After an initial loan spell at the Stones, a further loan deal at Hampton & Richmond Borough followed, before he left the Hammers for Watford.

The former England youth international then had a temporary spell at Eastbourne Borough, before a permanent switch to Woking.

What’s been said?

Upon arriving at the recently-promoted League One side, Howes said: “When I first heard of the interest from Orient, I wanted to pursue it. Leyton Orient had a really successful season, and hopefully, this one can be too.”

He continued: “My super strength is shot-stopping, but over the years I’ve progressed with my feet as well. I feel comfortable with the ball at my feet.

“You have to be good with your feet, and this has certainly helped land this move for me.

“I want to come into the setup and impress, and try to kick on again. I want to push to be the number one and continue to improve my game.”

Howes will join academy graduate Rhys Byrne in the goalkeeping department, with head coach Richie Wellens revealing there will be yet more additions.

“Sam will come in and complement Rhys Byrne and another goalkeeper who we can’t announce yet,” added Wellens.

“Sam has a great background in his career, coming through at West Ham, and he dropped out of the professional game to get competitive experience and had a really good season with Wealdstone last year.”

Writer’s View

Howes has stated his desire to compete for a starting role at Brisbane Road, however, League One will be a huge step up for a player that hasn’t played above National League level. He is still young for a goalkeeper and there will be hopes that he can rediscover some of the talent shown in his early years.  Comments made by Richie Wellens after the departure of Lawrence Vigouroux to Premier League side Burnley, suggest he may turn to the loan market to replace the huge void in goal.

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