Aaron Drinan: Leyton Orient move can help me take next step as a pro

Gifted attacker hoping to nail down a regular spot with the League Two club
Aaron Drinan: Leyton Orient move can help me take next step as a pro

Aaron Drinan hits the net for Cork City in the UEFA Youth League clash with AS Roma at Turner's Cross. Picture: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

HAVING never really settled since arriving in England over three years ago, Aaron Drinan believes Leyton Orient is the club that can change all that for him.

The Carrigaline native recently joined Skybet League Two side Leyton Orient from Ipswich Town, he had been with since 2018. Put out on loan to five different clubs such as Sutton United, Waterford, GAIS, Ayr United and Orient, the 23-year-old gained lots of experience however admitting he never really settled at any of the clubs. 

He is now looking forward to a stable environment where he hopes to make an impact and play week in, week out at his new club.

The former Cork City underage star ended his three-year stint with Ipswich Town and is looking forward to a new challenge in his life.

“My plan for this season is to really kick on with Orient. I’ve never felt better so I’m really looking forward to the start of the season,” said Drinan.

“My time in England has been hectic to date. I’ve never really got settled at a club where I’m there for one or two full seasons where I’m just playing games and enjoying my football. However, I really think I can do that with Orient now.

“I’ve been on a few loans all over really but the most beneficial spells were back at Waterford and my time up at Ayr in Scotland. 

"Waterford was in the League of Ireland and Alan Reynolds helped me massively, things like hold up play, timing of runs and most importantly gave me the confidence to go out and play the way that I did there. 

Aaron Drinan, then with Waterford, celebrates after scoring against Finn Harps. Picture: Matt Browne/Sportsfile
Aaron Drinan, then with Waterford, celebrates after scoring against Finn Harps. Picture: Matt Browne/Sportsfile

"In Ayr playing in the Scottish Championship Mark Kerr again helped me improve on those things further again and I have no doubt all the experiences from the various clubs will help me during my time Orient. I am absolutely buzzing to get started. My manager Kenny Jacket has made it clear to me what he expects from me and I will work hard to achieve this.” 

The youngster who previously played with Carrigaline, Cobh Ramblers, Cork City and Waterford enjoyed a few months back home in Carrigaline but is now busier than ever as he prepares for the coming season.

“I’m currently back over in England doing pre-season. It’s great to be back to be honest. My week is very hectic but it’s mainly football and I love that. 

"Occupying my time is easy at the moment because as soon as I get back from training I can’t move. Training five times a week which are double sessions. Tiring but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

“Places will be very competitive this year as we have a good squad. But this is great as it makes us all work that little bit harder. There’s nothing better than a little competition. 

"It certainly adds a little spice to training which I am thoroughly enjoying at the moment. We’re training hard and we are all looking forward to that first game away to Salford.

“League Two is a tough league with some good teams. It’s a long season with 46 league games and a cup competition. But ultimately our aim is to get promoted. 

"It’s a new squad where a couple of signings have been made but we’ve all jelled quite well and there is a great atmosphere at the club.” 

Cork City's Aaron Drinan takes on Cobh Ramblers Matthew Draper in 2016. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Cork City's Aaron Drinan takes on Cobh Ramblers Matthew Draper in 2016. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

Being away from family has been tough for the lacy attacker however as he moves into his new flat in London this week, he believes having stability at the club will make life a lot easier.

“Being away from family is obviously tough but it’s what you’ve got to do if you want to make it in football. My family are proud of me and I’m doing my best to make them proud. 

"Covid has been stressful. It cut the season early which was obviously very disappointing, but I did get to go home for a couple of months which was a plus.


“I got to watch a lot of the League of Ireland games but mainly the Cobh Ramblers games as my brother Conor plays with them. I would always be there to offer Conor advice but being honest the best experience he can get and the more he can learn is from playing games and thankfully he’s been doing that.

I really am enjoying the professional life of being a footballer. It’s great to be able to play professional football for a living but it is also really really tough. You need to be on it 100% of the time and be 100% focused solely on it. 

"It’s something I’ve worked hard to achieve and will continue to do so. I’m moving into a flat in London and my girlfriend will be coming over shortly as well, so things are starting to shape up really nicely. 

"Having signed with Orient and knowing I have a great chance to play competitively each week is great for my confidence and I genuinely can’t wait to get started. There is a great buzz within the club and the season can’t come quick enough for us all.

“My future plans and aims are to 100% play in the premier league one day but for now it's to have a massive season with Orient where I hope to play well, score goals and put in performances week in week out. That’s my aim and I plan on working very hard to achieve this.”

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