RECALLING REDS: Richefond believes Drummy and youth’s the way forwards

Ryan Richefond  Picture by James Boardman
Ryan Richefond Picture by James Boardman

Former Crawley Town player Ryan Richefond is lifting the lid after he suffered the setback of being released from the professional game.

The midfielder made limited appearances for Reds after securing a one-year deal in 2014 after progressing through the club’s youth ranks.

The 19-year-old recalls his time at Crawley fondly and is still close to many former and current players as he refuses to give up on his dream.

Richefond is writing a series of columns for us on life after Reds on snippets from the past at Crawley.

So a new Gaffa has been appointed at Crawley Town! Exciting times ahead!

My initial reaction to the departure of Mark Yates and Jimmy Dack was one of shock, purely down to the timing of having only two games left of the season. But it is nice to see the new board and owner have a clear outline in mind for the direction in which they want to take the club. I for one am looking forward to seeing what the Manager has in store.

As for the players at the club, however, this will only heighten the nervousness with regards to next season, players out of contract may get a chance they didn’t think they would get, and players in contract may be wondering where and if they fit into the manager’s new plans.

Dermot Drummy comes to Crawley with a very strong CV, having come through the ranks at Arsenal FC, he went on to play in the Football League with Blackpool, before dropping into the lower leagues.

After temporarily managing Ware FC, he went on to become youth coach at the club where he started his career and remained with them until Chelsea offered him the under-18’s manager’s job.

It was here that he guided the team to their first FA Youth Cup win in 49 years and set the template for the three consecutive victories that have preceded it.

Due to his success, he stepped up to become Chelsea’s reserve team manager in 2011 where he worked with some of the best players in the country and for some of the best coaches and managers in football (Andre Villas-Boas, Roberto Di Mateo, Rafa Benítez and Jose Mourinho).

All of this accumulates to someone who is capable of producing exciting and entertaining football but also knows how to win.

His association with youth coupled with the suggestions of reopening the academy, will be a strong plus for the club and the community, hopefully setting the foundations to help grow and push Crawley back into League One and above.

For me, it’s important that the fans have a local lad or a youth team product in the first team, someone who knows the club and they can see develop.

Not forgetting of course, the contacts that he and his staff will have, allowing the club to bring in good professionals both on and off the pitch.

As I write this article, I am thinking that this may not have been the worst time for change at the club; however unfortunate it was with the results with the previous regime, the new manager will have a couple weeks to assess the squad now before planning for next season with guaranteed safety.

If he’s looking for a young prospect to return to the Reds, I’m definitely available!