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Busy festive period relished by Daggers full-back Ling

PUBLISHED: 16:00 29 December 2017

Sam Ling of Dagenham and Craig Clay of Leyton Orient battle for the ball earlier this season in the FA Cup (Pic: David Simpson/TGS Photo)

Sam Ling of Dagenham and Craig Clay of Leyton Orient battle for the ball earlier this season in the FA Cup (Pic: David Simpson/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo tgsphoto.co.uk +44 1376 553468

Dagenham & Redbridge cap a busy festive period as they travel to Ebbsfleet United on Saturday before returning to Victoria Road for a big east London derby match against Leyton Orient.

Martin Ling will come up against his son Sam Ling on New Years Day (pic: David Davies/PA Images). Martin Ling will come up against his son Sam Ling on New Years Day (pic: David Davies/PA Images).

Daggers will make the trip across the Queen Elizabeth Bridge to Stonebridge Road on Saturday (3pm) as they look to end 2017 with a victory before also hoping to open their account on the first day of 2018 against the O’s at Victoria Road (3pm).

And one player who is relishing the busy run of fixtures is full-back and former Leyton Orient youth product Sam Ling who will be facing dad Martin on New Year’s Day.

Martin Ling, who was appointed director of football at Leyton Orient in the summer, helped build their current squad and his son Sam is now keen to get one over his dad to kickstart the new year.

“I can’t wait to play against Orient, I always look forward to this fixture and they’ve got one over on us in the FA Cup so we want the three points,” he said.

“Like last time, it was very strange for me coming up against my old man, but I’ve just got to get on with it as it’s just another game and another one we want to win.”

The in-form defender also believes it’s a massive chance for his team to climb up the National League table and put themselves amongst the favourites for the second half of the campaign.

“Over this short space of time we can pick up a lot of points to get right up the league, where we want to be, so with the games coming thick and fast we’ve got to recover well and crack on to get some points on the board.”

The game on New Year’s Day will also see Sam up against his former club, having been a part of the Orient academy before joining Daggers in 2016.

The defender was at one point captain of the O’s youth team and was in the academy alongside players like Myles Judd, Freddy Moncur, Michael Clark and Charlie Grainger, who have since progressed to the Orient first team.

And Ling is looking forward to reuniting with some of his old team-mates, adding: “There is still a few youngsters there that I come up through the system with, so it will all be banter until the start of the game and when that first whistle goes, that’s when it’s business and time to get the three points.”

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