New Crawley Town defender Owen Gallacher ready to fight for left-back spot

Owen Gallacher wants to make the left-back position at Crawley Town his own after joining from League One outfit Burton Albion.

Wednesday, 21st July 2021, 1:46 pm
Updated Wednesday, 21st July 2021, 1:48 pm
Owen Gallacher provided an assist for Sam Matthews in Crawley Town's convincing 5-0 friendly win at Horsham on Saturday. Picture by Jon Rigby

The 22-year-old agreed a two-year deal, with an extra one-year option, at following his release from Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink’s Brewers last month.

Gallacher, who began his professional career at Newcastle United, made 12 competitive appearances at Burton last season with nine coming in League One.

Gallacher and FA Cup hero Nick Tsaroulla will duke it out for a place as Crawley’s starting left-back.

But the 22-year-old was ready to fight for his place in the Reds starting XI, and said that he was desperate to play as many games as he could this season.

He said: “For me, personally, I want to play as many games as I can. Hopefully come the first game of the season I’ve got the starting left-back shirt.

“If not, I’ll fight for my position until I’m in there and make sure I keep it.

“Being a footballer, you just want to play games. You can train as much as you want, but the most important part is being on the pitch, and showing what you can do on the pitch.

“Pre-season games are good but you just need to get ready for the start of the season and show what you can do.”

Gallacher made his Reds debut at Walton Casuals on July 6, playing 45 minutes in their 3-0 away win at the Stags.

The left-back made further 45 minute appearances in Crawley’s 6-1 drubbing of Horley Town away from home, and the 1-1 draw at Burgess Hill Town on July 10 and July 13 respectively.

Gallacher started on Saturday in the Reds’ 5-0 thrashing of Horsham and laid on the assist for the third goal.

The young defender took the ball past his man with his chest, before finding Sam Matthews who beat a Hornets defender and arrowed the ball into the corner of the net.

Gallacher has been delighted with how pre-season has gone. The 22-year-old was full of praise for his new teammates, saying they had been incredibly welcoming.

He added: “It’s been good to get back training and it was good to get minutes back in the legs.

“Overall I’ve really enjoyed it and the lads have been spot on. I feel like I’ve settled down well now.

“All the lads have welcomed me, so it’s been good, and, football-wise, it’s a really good standard we’ve got.

“All the boys have looked after themselves over the off-season, so I’ve come into a really good group of lads. I just can’t wait to get started.”

With the new League Two campaign just over a fortnight away, Gallacher has set his sights on promotion with the Reds.

The left-back said: “As a team, we want to be pushing for play-offs. Really, we want to win the league.

“That would make things a whole lot easier if we won the league! But if not we want to be pushing for play-offs and looking to get promoted.”

The defender also boasts international experience. Gallacher received two caps for Scotland under-16s in 2014.

The left-back, who was born in Newcastle but qualifies for Scotland through his father, was also handed two under-19 caps by former Sunderland manager and Manchester United coach Ricky Sbragia in 2016.

Gallacher was delighted to play for his father’s country of birth, but admitted there was only one team he was rooting for when England met Scotland in the Euro 2020 group stages in June.

He added: “It was a really good experience. I think it was more of a proud moment for my dad!

“My dad’s side of the family is Scottish so it was really good for them!

“It was nice to play up there. A lot of my family came to watch so it was a really proud moment for my family and myself.

“I was born in England so I’m an England supporter! But I would’ve liked Scotland to do well.

“It would’ve been good for the history of Scotland. It was good for them to get into the Euros in the first place.”