LOFT and LOASS
The following was read out at the recent LOFT AGM by Doug Harper, chair of LOFT and a committee member of LOASS, on behalf of LOASS secretary Steve Jones:
"I have been involved with the Leyton Orient Advanced Soccer School Football Club (LOASS FC) for 10 years now, 8 of them as club secretary. We have boys teams from U/7s up to and including U/18s, a male senior team, an U/11s girls team and an U/17s disability football team. We are also developing an U/13s girls team. We have around 250 playing members from a wide catchment area who are made up of people of several different backgrounds. LOASS is an FA Charter Standard Community Club, one of only 8 teams in London to hold this award and the only team in north east London. Last season LOASS were voted the London FA Charter Standard Club of the year, which was presented to us at an awards ceremony held at Brisbane Road.
"LOASS FC is an independently run club, which was formed as part of the LOCSP (Leyton Orient Community Sports Programme) in 1997, when it was run by Grant Cornwell. As of the end of last season our partnership with LOCSP came to end as their priorities had changed which meant that LOASS was gaining very little benefit from it.
"Doug Harper was invited to join the LOASS Committee last season, to assist with increasing people's awareness of LOASS FC at the Club and also the local neighbourhood.
"Historically, LOASS and Leyton Orient have always had an informal relationship, which was really only kept going as we had several coaches working for both Leyton Orient and LOASS, which has meant that we probably provide more players to the Centre of Excellence than any other local club. This season with the appointment of a new head of the Centre of Excellence, who did not have a LOASS background, Doug and I had a meeting with Chief Executive Matt Porter to form a formal partnership. After another meeting with Mel Jeffries - Head of the Centre of Excellence - an agreement has been made and a process is developing.
"LOASS disability programme has generated some real stars with one lad Emyle Rudder representing England in the U/16s European Championships held in Ireland and several other boys attending the England National Squad training in Lileshall.
"LOASS has benefitted from the Leyton Orient free tickets for schools programme, which has seen many of our boys and girls attend Orient matches; some now have become proper die hard fans.
"LOASS are in the process of securing a ground of its own, which involves some serious project work and investment, which I am confident will come through.
"I hope our relationship with LOFT will remain in place and even develop."