Former Chelsea youth midfielder says time was right to leave Crawley

Kaby Djalo
Kaby Djalo

Released Crawley Town midfielder Kaby Djalo says he knew it was the right time to leave the club after his lack of first team football last season.

The Guinea-Bissau international’s two-year stay at the League Two club came to an end at the conclusion of the 2017/18 campaign.

Having been signed for the club by the late Dermot Drummy, he soon became a popular figure with fans and players alike.

But under Harry Kewell, the former Chelsea player fell out of favour. He made six appearances last season, just two of which came in the league.

With his contract expiring, it was no major surprise to see Djalo included on the first list of released players along with Billy Clifford, Josh Lelan and Jordan Roberts.

On whether he was disappointed to leave the club, Djalo explained: “Yes I was, but I move on already. It was my last year of contract with Crawley. I was ready to go.”

The frustration of his limited game time was clear to see – when asked when he wanted to stay, he added: “No, not after this season I had.

“Right now my main focus is to enjoy my holiday with my family and forget about football and the future will tell my next move.”

It hasn’t been all bad memories at Reds for the 5ft 6’ dance-mad middle man.

Djalo does leave having enjoyed the majority of his time at the club. He said: “I have learned different style of playing football; a lot quicker and physically.

“Also I have learned you have to play until the end to secure your result.

“My best memory was the season before last where I played a lot games and had good time inside and out of the pitch with my team-mates, dancing inside the changing room all the time.”

On an insight into what it’s like to work under a former Champions League winner, Djalo said of Kewell: “He likes to push his players to the limit.

“I enjoyed our training sessions and the way we tried to play, similarly last season, but the difference this season was more demanding.

“Enzio Boldewijn growing was notable compared from last season, Jimmy Smith was a good example, Dannie Bulman with his age did very well.”

Does Djalo believes Kewell can take Reds up the pyramid? “I believe he will push and look for it but there’s no guarantee in League Two, anything can happen.”

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