Family day proves a huge draw for fans

Reds players Enzio Boldewijn, Jimmy Smith, Mark Connolly and Dean Cox model the club's new kit.
Picture by James Boardman/Telephoto images
Reds players Enzio Boldewijn, Jimmy Smith, Mark Connolly and Dean Cox model the club's new kit. Picture by James Boardman/Telephoto images
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Crawley Town operations director Kelly Derham was delighted with the success of the family fun day held at the Checkatrade Stadium on Saturday.

The day featured a host of attractions for the whole family and proved to be a winner in bringing in extra fans for the club’s first home pre-season friendly.

Crawley Town operations director Kelly Derham with director of football Selim Gaygusuz.
Picture by James Boardman.

Crawley Town operations director Kelly Derham with director of football Selim Gaygusuz. Picture by James Boardman.

Reds played a young but high quality Chelsea XI which included players with first team experience in the Championship.

The day featured a bouncy castle, an assault course, darts and face painting and music provided by three live bands.

Reds also launched their new kit, with players modelling the new design which went on sale to the public for the first time.

Tickets for the game itself were on sale in advance for just £1 or £3 on the day.

Crawley were rewarded for their efforts with a bumper crowd of 3,546 to kick-off new head coach Harry Kewell’s first home game since taking charge.

Derham said: “It went perfectly, we got more then we expected. We weren’t too sure if people would embrace it, but they did.

“When you consider the last time we played Chelsea (in 2014) we had a gate of just 1600, we were really impressed with that, it was really good.

“We will definitely hold it again next year!”

Derham was pleased with the extra sales of the new kit which came from holding the official launch in front of the public for the first time.

She said: “The kit launch went really well - we sold a lot.”

This Saturday will see newly-promoted Premier League club Brighton & Hove Albion visit to play their first friendly in the UK.

They have just returned from a pre-season tour of Austria and are playing Crawley Town before hosting Atletico Madrid.

It will be a chance for both sets of fans to see their history-making squad.

Manager Chris Hughton is expected to bring his first team squad plus their three new signings: Austrian international left back Markus Suttner, German midfielder Pascal Gross and Australian international goalkeeper Maty Ryan.

Derham explained: “The pre-season matches are there to give us practise for the real thing.

“We just hope that the next two matches against Brighton and Portsmouth are just as good as the Chelsea one.

“We hope people who came on Saturday for the first time enjoyed themselves and will come back to watch Crawley again.

“Brighton & Hove Albion are the only Premier League club in Sussex and we are hoping that we will see plenty of both sets of fans.”