Following the departure of Glen Johnson to Gillingham at the beginning of pre-season, Boreham Wood snapped up former Leyton Orient first team and academy goalkeeping coach Erbil Bozkurt.

The 27-year-old spent two-years with Orient, before departing when the club were relegated from the Football League, and subsequently sold.

Bozkurt said: “I was really pleased to join Boreham Wood,” Bozkurt elated. “I got a phone call from the Gaffer, Luke Garrard, because he had heard that I had left my role at Leyton Orient.

“From the moment that I arrive here and spoke with him and Terry Harris, I could see their ideas and I could see what they wanted to do and I am really excited to be a part of it.

“I actually played here against Boreham Wood five, or six years ago and the set-up and how much the club has changed is remarkable, it is completely different now.”

Bozkurt cut short his playing career to take up the role with Leyton Orient, where he began working with the academy, before also taking up coaching roles in both the youth and first team.

The stopper spent the majority of his playing career around the lower leagues, with spells at Harringey Borough, Chesnut, and Hampton & Richmond Borough.

However, it was during a frustrating year in Turkey that Bozkurt made the decision to pursue a career in coaching.

“I was given the chance by Orient manager of the time Omer Riza,” Bozkurt continued. “Coaching is something that I have always wanted to do, so when Omer gave me the opportunity I decided to stop playing and jump head first into coaching.

“I was lucky enough to play in Turkey for a bit, at Sivasspor, but the experience wasn’t how I wanted it to be, and that is one of the reasons that I decided to get into coaching a lot sooner.

“I lost the buzz for playing and I am a believer that everything happens for a reason. That period made me realise that I wanted to get into coaching sooner. Maybe I didn’t really play as much as I would have liked to, but I don’t miss it at all.”

The 27-year-old has worked alongside some of the sport’s best coaches, and spoke with admiration about their impact on his coaching career.The coach continued: “I am really happy with how everything has worked out, and I have been really lucky to have worked with a lot of really good goalkpeeing coaches in the past.

“The likes of Martin Brennan, Perry Suckling and Mick Payne have all really helped my career and I have always tried to learn off those types of people.

“Even from the age of just 15,16-years-old, I have always tried to pick up techniques from the goalkeeping coaches that I have worked with.

“I am really grateful to all of the coaches that I have worked with; Andy Edwards, Richard Thomas and Omer Riza; who gave me the opportunity to work at the club.”

During his time at Leyton Orient, Bozkurt worked with both first team and academy team goalkeepers, and assisted in the development of Alex Cisak, Sam Sargeant and Charlie Grainger, all of whom have since made the first team.

“The academy setup at Leyton Orient was very good and that shows because a lot of the academy have made the team this year, or they have made it elsewhere,” Bozkurt continued.

“Many of the goalkeepers in the youth team that I worked with have gone on to become first team goalkeepers, the likes of Charlie Grainger, Sam Sargeant and Alex Cisak.

“I feel that I helped a lot with the academy goalkeepers at Orient, because I changed a few aspects of how they worked that I didn’t quite agree with. And It is thanks to people like Richard Thomas and Martin Brennan that I was able to do that, they let me change things and they gave me the freedom to do what I wanted with it.”

Wood stopper Grant Smith pulled off a string of impressive saves against Dagenham and Redbridge last Tuesday and despite having only worked with him for a short time, Bozkurt praised the ability of Smith.

“Grant Smith is a really good goalkeeper, and I honestly believe that he is one of the best in the League, which was an opinion I already had of him before I arrived.

“I have always liked Grant as a goalkeeper and I am happy to now be able to work with him. Grant is at an age where he is not old, but he is not young, so he has got to accept his habits, both good and the bad, and he has got to work with them.

“He is smart and he knows the game, he has got a good foundation and a good core and he has been with Fulham and Brighton so technically he is good.”

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