Harrold wants to be at Crawley Town for the long haul

Matt Harrold scores for Crawley against Luton in the FA Cup (Pic by Joe Rigby) SUS-150911-161707008
Matt Harrold scores for Crawley against Luton in the FA Cup (Pic by Joe Rigby) SUS-150911-161707008

Matt Harrold says he can see himself at Crawley Town for the long haul.

The popular striker is firmly establishing himself in Reds folklore with his hard-working displays, but he is not taking that for granted.

He netted nine times in 39 appearances for the League Two side last season and turned down interest from numerous other clubs to remain at the Checkatrade Stadium.

Harrold revealed a number of factors kept him at Crawley - he’s enjoying his football, he knows it’s the start of an exciting time and he was flattered being a wanted man.

He said: “It was a big decision but an easy decision because I think it’s an exciting time and I want to be part of a good side doing well.

“There was a bit of interest to be honest, which I took my time over, thought about and considered, it was a big decision for me and I took my time over it and I am happy with the one I made.

“It’s a number of things, first of all I have enjoyed my time at Crawley. I feel I have a good relationship with everyone there, so it’s going back into a comfortable environment.

“Also, it’s a bit of a fresh start and an exciting time I feel with how the manager wants to play and change the philosophy a bit and also I felt a bit wanted by the club.

“They showed they wanted me quite a lot to be honest, to feel like you’re wanted a lot is a nice feeling, so it’s a combination of those things.

“I would have been open to a two-year contract, but we came to a good agreement with the option to an extra year.

“It’s fine by me as I can understand what the club are doing, but yeah I can see myself here for the long term. It’s a good fit at the place and I want to be in a team that wins and bring some of the success the club has had in the last seven years, with the promotions, I want a bit of that myself.

“I’d like to get the club back up to League One and it might not happen this season, but we are going to give it our best shot.”

The 31-year-old, who joined in 2014, has the option to extend his stay at the club by a further year as part of the deal.

A former Bristol Rovers, Wycombe and Southend man, Harrold has become a permanent fixture in the Crawley side that was after being placed on the transfer list in 2014 by former boss John Gregory.

The forward is enjoying being a fans’ favourite again and added: “I have been in these situations before you can never take it for granted.

“It’s nice and it’s a bonus when you are well liked and popular at a club, but as soon as you start resting on your laurels, then you are struggling.

“I go into every day, every training session every game with the same motivation and that’s what keeps you popular.

“I always set my own individual goals, I’d like to score more than last season and be in the team and win a bit more and finish higher than we did, they are my goals.

“I have little things I think of before the season and things I work towards and stuff, I don’t really tell anyone, but I will work towards them.

“You always want to do better. It wasn’t a bad figure in a fairly tough season as I missed a few (games) near the end. It would be nice to get to double figures and I usually do when I play, you always look to get to double figures.”