RECALLING REDS: Richefond on the media and Proctor prank interview

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.

Sports journalism has always interested me. Seeing people on TV analysing games and reading their views in the form of match reports is second only to playing and coaching in my eyes.

A lot of players try to get out of post-match interviews, seeing them as a chore, but for me, talking about what I love, to either players, journalists or fans is bettered by few things.

Talking has never been an issue for me. Talking too much on the other hand… I always try to be as honest as I can when speaking about football, obviously there is some stuff that I can’t say, but I will try to give as full an account as I can.

I am first and foremost a fan. And if it was on the other foot, I would want a player to have the time to speak to me, so I can pick their brains about my team.

One of my first interviews for Crawley came the day after I had been on the bench in our 1-0 win over Fleetwood at the Checkatrade.com stadium. It had been the first time I had seen some of the old faces from previous seasons such as Jamie Proctor.

So there I was sitting playing FIFA at home relaxing on the Sunday afternoon, when my phone lights up with an unsaved number. I answered sheepishly, thinking it might be a Ryman League team who was enquiring if I wanted to go on loan.

A Scottish voice answered saying his name was a reporter I had heard worked for a newspaper. ‘Hiya mate, how’s you?’ I answered eagerly.

‘I’m good; I got your number through the club. And wanted to do an interview with you regarding the new squad and how a young player is settling in?’ he replied.

I couldn’t believe my luck! My first proper interview, I stopped my game, repositioned myself for maximum comfort, cleared my throat and proceeded to answer the questions put before me, including: My thoughts on the new squad, how I was settling in, the losing of key players such as Dannie Bulman, Mike Jones and Jamie Proctor and what my aims are for the season ahead.

After seven minutes had passed my interview concluded. I signed off with the classic, ‘if you ever need or want to speak to anyone, you’ve got my number mate, I’m always free’.

Unfortunately, only a small group of people ever heard this interview. The reason behind this was, as I walked into training Monday morning, I could hear the sound of my voice coming from the speakers above the laughing of my teammates.

I had been pranked by Proctor who had sent the recording to members of the squad. It’s safe to say that if I could blush I would have been as red as our home kit at this point!

But since that day, I have thoroughly enjoyed speaking to journalists and hopefully can keep writing about my three years with the Reds.

Ryan

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