Former Doncaster Rovers boss Richie Wellens has made his return to football as the new Leyton Orient head coach.
The club confirmed his appointment on a two-and-a-half-year contract on Wednesday afternoon.
Wellens replaces Kenny Jackett, who was sacked after less than a year in charge in February.
Richie Wellens Becomes New Leyton Orient Head Coach
— Leyton Orient (@leytonorientfc) March 9, 2022
Club’s Clear Potential for Improvement
Wellens left Doncaster in December 2021, just months into his reign as manager. He left the club in a relegation scrap that they haven’t yet got out of under his replacement Gary McSheffrey.
The former Leicester City midfielder, though, has already shown his capabilities in League Two – guiding Swindon Town to promotion in 2020 before leaving for Salford City later that year.
At Salford, he was sacked just days after lifting the EFL Trophy, granted he was only in charge for the final and not the full campaign which took place the season before.
Following his appointment, Wellens told the leytonorient.com: “It’s a really good football club, and from my initial conversations with the owners, the vision is forward-thinking, and they want to improve the club’s position.
“I’ve always enjoyed bringing my teams here, and the potential to improve here is clear to see.
“I want the fans to really buy into what we’re about, and improve the match experience for them. Football is about having fun, and we’ll be keen to give them something to shout about.”
Orient’s Long-Term Admiration for Wellens Revealed
Orient director of football Martin Ling added: “He’s a young, vibrant coach with character, and we’re delighted to have him on board.
“There’s been a long-term admiration for him, and he was one of the potential candidates we spoke to last summer, however, the Doncaster job came up, and he let us know he wouldn’t be put through to the next round.
“The way he plays the game is something we like, an attack-minded coach with a team on the front foot, his teams work hard, both offensively and defensively.”
Chairman Nigel Travis said: “In the last week I have spent many hours with Richie and I’m convinced that he is the man to firstly get us out of the disappointing predicament we find ourselves in and then hopefully next season to move us forward up the table.
Wellens will take training on Thursday morning ahead of Orient’s trip to Hartlepool United on Saturday, March 12.
Leyton Orient are 20th in the League Two table and will desperately want to avoid falling into a relegation battle where the damning fate could be relegation to the National League. They are currently just four points clear of 23rd-placed Oldham Athletic.
Embed from Getty Images