Former Southend star Barrett is keen to make up for lost time at Orient

Palace defender is keen to play a part in Orient’s promotion push

Orient loan signing Adam Barrett is keen to make up for lost time after he joined the club from Crystal Palace.

Now 31, Barrett started his career at Brisbane Road, but after skippering the youth side, he left without making a first-team appearance in 1999.

Fast-forward 12 years and Barrett finally made his long-awaited debut against Oldham Athletic.

After leaving Orient, the powerful defender joined Plymouth Argyle and he went on to play for Mansfield Town and Bristol Rovers. But it was at Southend where he made his mark, playing 251 league games.

Barrett left Roots Hall and joined Crystal Palace in the summer, but has played just seven times for the Eagles and now is keen get some action.

Although the Rush Green-born defender waited 12 years to make his O’s debut he is looking forward to a month-long loan spell that takes in nine league games.

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“I was here from the age of 14, so I’m no stranger,” said Barrett.

“I cleaned the terraces when I was a kid, so I know my way around the place that’s for sure.

“I’ve played against Orient a few times as well. But coming here I’ve noticed there is a real buzz about the place. The club seems to be on the up.”

Barrett is pleased just to be back playing again and admitted it has been a frustrating time for him at Palace this season.

“I’m pleased they have let me out, I just want to play, because that’s what I have missed this season,” he admitted.

“It was an easy decision to make when Orient came in for me. There was a bit of interest from Huddersfield, but I’m local to the area.”

Barrett played in Saturday’s win against Oldham and Tuesday night’s victory at Hartlepool.

“My legs were cramping up for the last 15 minutes of Saturday’s game, but I wanted to stay on for the full 90 minutes and with games under my belt I will get fitter and stronger,” he said.

With matches coming thick and fast, Barrett will have plenty of opportunity to play as Orient look to gate-crash the top six. They travel to Brentford on Saturday and then entertain Dagenham & Redbridge on Tuesday night.

But Barrett, who helped Southend to the Championship, refuses to look too far ahead in the promotion chase.

“It’s an old cliche, but we will just take one game at a time . There is still a gap to close and the lads are aware of that,” he said.

“But who knows? Most years there is a team that sneaks in and one that drops out.

“If we can keep plugging away like we have done, we are going to give ourselves a great chance, but there is a long way to go.”

And the defender admits he would like to stay longer if the opportunity arises: “If the gaffer is pleased and I’m pleased, why not?” he said.

“I thoroughly enjoyed playing against Oldham and we will have to wait and see what happens.”