Kyle McFadzean - “I could have left Crawley every season”

McFadzean celebrates his equaliser against Gillingham this season (pic by Jon Rigby)
McFadzean celebrates his equaliser against Gillingham this season (pic by Jon Rigby)

Defender Kyle McFadzean says he’s had offers to leave Crawley Town during every transfer window since he’s been at the club.

The talented centre-back turned down the chance to earn much better money at a fellow League One club when a “substantial offer” came in at the end of the January Transfer window.

Crawley V Gillingham - Crawley players celebrate Kyle McFadzean's equaliser (Pic by Jon Rigby)

Crawley V Gillingham - Crawley players celebrate Kyle McFadzean's equaliser (Pic by Jon Rigby)

Reds boss John Gregory has expressed his pride in both his centre-back pairing McFadzean and Joe Walsh for turning down higher wages to stay at the Broadfield.

“I feel like I’ve spent a lot of time on the sidelines (with a virus last season) and I’m only just getting back to playing my best. I’m really happy here so why would I want to leave?” said McFadzean, who has a year and a half left on his current Crawley contract.

“I wouldn’t want to finish on a bad note I’d want to finish on a good note, it isn’t the right time to go and the gaffer is experienced and a good manager and he’s another reason I stayed.

“John’s (Gregory) been a manager at the very top and he knows what’s best for me and has been giving me good advice.”

Fellow centre-back Walsh also turned down a bit from a different club around the same time, confirmed as £400,000 by Reds chairman Dave Pottinger on Twitter last week. Walsh is also contracted to the club until the end of next season.

The two have not only built an excellent partnership at the heart of the Crawley defence but have become good friends off the pitch and are moving into a flat together.

“Me and Joe have got a great partnership going and we really enjoy playing together,” McFadzean, 26, said. “We’re best mates off the pitch and we’re moving in together soon...I was with him when he got the offer (to leave) and he was with me and we both just laughed really.

“There’s only three months left (of the season) so why would we move?”

McFadzean’s girlfriend has just moved back to Sheffield after starting a new job and although the player admitted he did miss his hometown, where he has just brought a house, he said it was something he would think about when he retired.

Sean O’Driscoll was desperate to bring McFadzean to Bristol City in the Championship last season and made a successful bid in last January. Despite rumours that it was the Robins who eventually pulled out of the deal because McFadzean was still suffering from a virus, the player said it was his decision to stay at the Broadfield.

“I’ve had the chance to leave Crawley during every transfer window and I’ve never gone,” the former Alfreton Town defender revealed. “I could have left this club every year I’ve been here, I had an offer to leave at the start of the season and every time I’ve turned down better money to stay.

And on nearly signing for Bristol City he added: “I pulled out of it. I wasn’t ready, I was still ill and they expected me to play the next week against Leeds United which I knew I couldn’t do. I’m not a greedy person, I just like playing football and I wouldn’t want to just leave and get slagged off by the fans.”

McFadzean, who helped Reds to successive promotions from the Conference to League One after joining in 2010 under Steve Evans, spent much of last season sidelines with a serious virus which he said took far longer to recover from.

“I’d put on a bit of weight and I found that really difficult to shift. But I’ve got more muscle now then I ever had so I’m really happy with my fitness at the moment.”

John Gregory was delighted about keeping hold of two of his most prized and valuable assets.

On Monday he said: “All I would say is the boys had a choice and they didn’t want to go. They could have gone and made more money elsewhere but they wanted to stay and that says a lot about the pair of them and also a lot about Crawley Town.