EAST Thurrock United manager John Coventry said he was “genuinely pleased” for Marvin Ekpiteta after the defender secured a move to National League side Leyton Orient.

Ekpiteta, 22, penned a two-and-a-half year deal at Brisbane Road on Wednesday and will be loaned back to Rocks for the remainder of the National League South campaign, having played all 38 of their fixtures so far this season.

And Coventry said he was pleased for Ekpiteta.

“Marvin has done very well and I am really pleased for him,” he said. “I have lost count of the amount of scouts that have watched him home and away and he is a lovely lad too.

“He joined us from Concord Rangers in January 2017 and when I spoke to Flanners (Adam Flanagan) asking what he thought he said ‘there is a good player in there’. We need to iron out some mistakes but he was only 20 when he came here and I have played him whenever he has been available. I have trusted him and that faith has paid off.

“He has been excellent and I am so pleased he is able to come back here as part of the deal. We want to say thanks for everything and we will always follow his career.

“Things like this give me a lot of pleasure and the fact he is such a nice lad is a bonus.”

And Coventry believes the defender has the potential to player higher than the National League, comparing him to former Dulwich Hamlet defender Ethan Pinnock who joined Forest Green Rovers before secure a lucrative move to Championship side Barnsley.

“I believe he will be a success,” said Coventry. “After two years at Orient doing full time training his imperfections will get ironed out. I think he will go higher.

“He reminds me of Ethan Pinnock and if he goes on to do what he has done then I will be very pleased.”