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.
I’m back! Now I am not sure if it has been a slow news week or people enjoyed my last article, but here goes?
For me banter in football is a must. You are putting a group of around 25 young men together every day in a pressurised results business and asking them to live like monks.
You need a release valve. During the 2013/14 season, I spent a fair bit of time in and around the first team, as well as playing for the youth.
That squad had some very good characters in it, and they knew how to have a laugh.
I’ve always been one to embrace the culture of football and be the centre of attention. At the end of the day, as a footballer that is what you are, a performer.
I remember my first overnight away trip, a chilly spring day in Bradford.
As is the done thing in football I had my initiation; a song. Do I go for a classic? A modern pop? Could I do a rap?
After speaking to Sergio Torres I settled on one of our favourite songs, Michael Bublé’s ‘Haven’t Met You Yet’. The moment of truth came early into the evening as we sat eating our dinner. Josh Simpson clanged his glass to draw everyone’s attention.
Armed with only a spoon to sing into and a chair to stand on I took centre stage. It’s safe to say that Simon and Cheryl wouldn’t have said ‘yes’ but I was buzzing as I sat back down heart racing and grinning from ear to ear.
We began eating again when I got a tap on my shoulder, it was Kyle McFadzean, ‘what else can you sing?’ he asked. ‘I might be able to rap…’ I was cut short by Josh, once again getting the attention of the room.
If my first was average then my next was worse! I sat down again. For a player to do TWO songs is unheard of. But I was in my element.
So when Matt Tubbs urged me to ‘go for the hat-trick’ how could I refuse? Frank Sinatra’s ‘My Way’ seemed an appropriate song to go out on.
With everyone laughing and clapping I took my seat for the final time. Although John Gregory looked less than impressed that I had stolen the limelight.
I strode back to the room I was sharing with Bradley Isaacs to rest up for the game the next day. About 10.30pm there was a knock on the door and I eagerly answered it. BOOM!
A bin full of water had been leant against the in-swinging door. So there I was standing in only my shorts and a pair of cold soaking wet socks as our carpeted room flooded. The second part of the initiation was over.
Still to this day I am not certain as to who did it, although I have my lead suspects.
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