JEROME EYE­ING UP A PLAY-OFF EN­CORE

The Football League Paper - - TFLP - By Paddy von Behr

IT HAS been an up-and­down 12 months for Jerome Bin­nom-Wil­liams.

Be­fore a sea­son-long loan at Bur­ton Al­bion came to a pre­ma­ture end in Jan­uary, the full-back was part of the Southend side that won pro­mo­tion to League One last year.

Even that was tinged with dis­ap­point­ment, how­ever, as the 20-year-old – on loan from Crys­tal Palace – dropped out of the side this time last year and missed out on a tri­umphant play­off cam­paign.

But last month he landed at Ley­ton Ori­ent and hit the ground run­ning, help­ing Kevin Nolan’s side to seven points from a pos- sible nine in his first three out­ings.

That put the O’s into the top seven head­ing into this week­end and has Bin­nom-Wil­liams dream­ing of an­other tri­umphant fin­ish to the cam­paign.

“I was un­for­tu­nate not to play in the play-offs and at Wem­b­ley, but I did play my part in the sea­son and the push for pro­mo­tion. It is some­thing I would love to ex­pe­ri­ence again and, if that is through the play-offs, it would be great to play at Wem­b­ley.”

In a per­fect world, Bin­nomWil­liams would still be at Bur­ton, at the top of League One, but it didn’t quite pan out.

Un­der for­mer Brew­ers boss Jimmy Floyd Has­sel­baink he was a reg­u­lar but, when the exChelsea striker left for QPR and Nigel Clough filled his shoes in De­cem­ber, that all changed.

Learn­ing

Bin­nom-Wil­liams didn’t play a sin­gle game un­der Clough and, af­ter a mu­tual ter­mi­na­tion of the loan in Jan­uary, he ended up at Bris­bane Road un­der play­er­man­ager Nolan.

“I used to watch him when I was grow­ing up. I saw him score some great goals,” he said.“Play­ing with him and learn­ing off him is great. Hope­fully I can carve out a ca­reer like him.”

And the feel­ing seems to be mu­tual.

“I thought he was fan­tas­tic,” said Nolan af­ter the de­fender’s de­but in a win at Notts County last month.“We’re de­lighted with his first per­for­mance.”

Bin­nom-Wil­liams, who had watched Ori­ent lose 4-0 at home to Northamp­ton Town be­tween sign­ing on dead­line day and mak­ing his de­but, was sim­ply pleased to hold his own.

“I didn’t think it was one of my best games,” he said, “but we had to fight and dig in and that’s what I showed.

“I didn’t ex­pect to come in and start straight away. I have been play­ing Un­der-21s foot­ball, which is very dif­fer­ent, and I didn’t play com­pet­i­tive games for two months be­fore I left Bur­ton.

“I just wanted to work my way in, which I have done.”

Now, af­ter eas­ing his way back into se­nior foot­ball, he can turn his at­ten­tion to­wards Ori­ent’s fight to re­turn to the third tier.

“The boys are feel­ing good,” he said.

“We are con­fi­dent and we are just work­ing step by step.

“We just need to stay fo­cused, like we are right now, and keep work­ing hard.

PIC­TURE: Ac­tion Im­ages

PRO­MO­TION BID: Jerome Bin­nomWil­liams, seen here in Bur­ton colours, is hun­gry for suc­cess with the O’s

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