AS Orient's second longest serving player Jabo Ibehre spoke of his relief at finally securing promotion and revealed to the Guardian that he hoped to sign a new contract at Brisbane Road in the next few weeks, writes Peter King.

The powerful striker, who suffered heartache in 2000 following the club's play-off final defeat against Blackpool in Cardiff, has seen his chances limited in the starting line-up during the campaign, although he won't let it prevent him from extending his stay at Brisbane Road.

So just as the new challenge of League One football arrives, the 23-year-old has warned his fellow strikers at the club that he isn't prepared to sit around as much next season.

He said: "Having come through the youth ranks at Orient, it is a great feeling finally to get promoted.

"It was a real blow losing in the play-off finals at the Millennium Stadium and I will never forget Scott Houghton crying on the bus afterwards.

"I was only a kid then so it didn't really hit me as hard at the time, but looking back now you realise what we missed out on because it has taken us six years to get promoted.

"It is such a great feeling and while I've not played as much as I would have liked, this is a team game and we are all in it together.

"Of course I want to be involved a lot more next year and I will certainly be pushing hard during the pre-season to make sure that happens.

"But there is nobody at the club who is bigger than anyone else and while we all want to do well for ourselves it is all about Leyton Orient being successful."

And in relation to the offer of a new contract, he added: "Now that promotion is out of the way I'm sure we will be talking a lot more over the next few weeks.

"There have been a few delays in me signing, but there aren't any problems because I've always wanted to stay here.

"The fans have been a major reason for that, because I've always had a great relationship with them and they always call my name even when I'm not playing."

But for now Ibehre, an Islington boy, will be focused on playing the role of the football supporter as he aims to be in Paris next week to cheer on his beloved Arsenal in the Champions League final against Barcelona.

He continued: "I'm a massive Arsenal fan and I've got a few people trying to get me a ticket for the final.

"I would love to go to the game and if they can beat Barcelona it will cap a great couple of weeks for me."