Leyton Orient have announced the arrival of Connor Essam. The 23 year-old defender joins the club on a two-year contract. Essam had been on trial with the O’s during the whole of pre-season and he has managed to secure himself a place in the Orient squad.
Despite the O’s announcing the deal, Dover Athletic have since stated that an agreement between the two clubs has not been reached. The Whites tweeted:
@BBCKentSport No agreement has been reached, Orient should not be announcing this – the issue has been taken up with FA.
— Dover Athletic FC (@DoverAthletic) July 28, 2015
Essam was out of contract with Dover, but his old club are due compensation due to the fact that he was offered a new contract with the Whites and he is under the age of 24. Following Dover’s claims the matter may now go to arbitration before the Professional Football Compensation Committee.
[textmarker color=”E00202″ type=”background color”]Connor Essam[/textmarker]
Born: 9th July 1992, Chatham, England
Height: 196 cm (6 ft 5 in)
Career Apps: 127
Essam began his career with Gillingham in 2002 and during his 11 years at the club he progressed through the youth system to make 18 appearances, all of which came in the 2011/12 season. In this time the defender worked with both Andy Hessenthaler and Ian Hendon.
The centre-back didn’t make his Gills debut until February 2012 (under then manager Hessenthaler). Before that Essam had a number of loan spells.
In 2010/11 he made 11 appearances for Conference South side Bishop’s Stortford and he then played seven games for Dover Athletic later that year.
Essam began the 2011/12 season back on loan at Bishop’s Stortford, making another 7 appearances for the Bishops.
He then had another short loan spell, this time joining Dartford. He played 8 games for the Conefernce South side before returning to Gillingham.
At the start of the 2012/13 campaign Essam was sent out on loan again, making the the step up to the Conference Premier with Luton Town. He played 9 games for the Hatters.
However, in January 2013 Essam finally left Gillingham and moved to Crawley Town on a free transfer. He made nine League One appearances in the second of the season and he scored his first goal for the club against Coventry in April.
Essam made just three more appearances for the Red Devils before returning to Dartford on loan in November. he played six games for the Darts during his one-month loan spell.
In September 2014, Essam moved to Dover Athletic and he featured regularly for the Whites throughout last season. He made 41 appearances as the Whites finished 8th in the Conference Premier and reached the third round of the FA Cup. He also managed 5 goals, including the winner against Cheltenham in the FA Cup which booked their place in the round three.
Connor Essam’s arrival was the second of four additions to the Orient squad that were announced yesterday, however Dover’s statement has created uncertainty over the situation.