Kevin Nolan is to be officially confirmed as player/manager of Leyton Orient on Thursday morning, according to Sky Sports.
Sky’s Amy Lewis says that their information is that the former Newcastle midfielder has agreed a two and a half year deal and will take training this morning.
‘Kevin Nolan to be announced as Leyton Orient’s player-manager this morning. He’ll take training today. Two and a half year deal.’
Leyton Orient are currently 11th in League Two but actually only three points off the play-offs.
However, they sacked Ian Hendon on Monday and released the following statement:
‘The Club can confirm that Ian Hendon has been relieved of his role as Head Coach of Leyton Orient.
The Club would like to thank Ian for his commitment and passion during his time at Leyton Orient and would like to wish him the best in his future endeavours.
Assistant Manager Andy Hessenthaler will be assuming Ian’s duties on an interim basis as Caretaker Manager. Leyton Orient will make an announcement at such time as a new appointment is made.’
The case of Kevin Nolan has been a strange one, with the 33 year old agreeing an early release from his contract at West Ham but not playing football for any other club this season.
Interestingly/ironically, back in September when Nolan had parted company with the Hammers, Leyton Orient confirmed the following in a statement on their official club website:
‘Ex-West Ham midfielder spending time with Orient
Former West Ham United captain Kevin Nolan will be spending time training with the O’s.
The 33-year-old is currently without a club having left the Hammers in the summer after a four-year spell at Upton Park, but through his relationship with O’s Head Coach Ian Hendon, he has linked up with Orient for an indefinite period.
Head Coach Ian Hendon said: “It is great to have such a model professional in Kevin at the club, and I am more than happy for Kevin to come in and train with the squad.
“It is good for our players to be training with a vastly experienced and talented Premier League midfielder.”
Maybe things are looking a little clearer now as to why Kevin Nolan hasn’t played anywhere in these past four months…
Whether it was Leyton Orient or elsewhere Kevin Nolan had an eye on, if his intention was to get a player manager role this season then he would have been scoring an own goal if he’d played for somebody else in the meantime.
Having already played for West Ham this season, any playing time for another club would have meant he couldn’t have played for Leyton Orient or anybody else as a player manager this season, as you are only allowed to play for two clubs in a single campaign.
Like all Newcastle fans we wish Kevin Nolan well in his new role.