SEASON DONE AND DUSTED, ENZIO BOLDEWIJN SIGNED
Well, the season has now ended to the relief of many supporters of the Red Devils. The final game at home to Barnet ended in another defeat making it 8 straight losses and only 2 goals scored, at home to Oxford and away to Northampton and then conceding 20 in the process of these defeats. Dermot Drummy certainly has a mountain to climb to get the team ready for next season.
Since the end of the season we have seen the departure of keeper Callum Preston, Lee Barnard, Roarie Deacon, Andy Bond, Lyle Della Verde, Shamier Fenelon and Gavin Tomlin – all of whose contracts have expired. We now wait to see who else departs as some of the players went on holiday before being told their fate. All the loan players have returned to their parent clubs, so it remains to be seen what the player recruitment is going to be with a possible first signing this week. Again, this season, there will be a large number of players without clubs as they get released following the end of the season clear out – some of this seasons loanee’s have already been told to find new clubs including Josh Yorwerth, Christian Scales, Mitch Hancox and Charles Dunne – former Red Devil Mike Jones at now at Oldham is also now on the hunt for another club. It is possible for some of these players to find their way back to Crawley for next season.
This season is one that will go down in the history of the club as one to forget, no cup runs, generally no entertainment especially since the New Year and certainly no credit to the clubs former owners who were constantly at logger heads with supporters during the season. With them now long departed, and with new Turkish owner now Ziya Eren at the helm, things have started to turn the corner with the fans being kept in the information loop and him being honest in his assessment and opinions over the final weeks of the season. He appointed Dermot Drummy as manager replacing Mark Yates who has been linked with Notts County, to take the club forward. Although he has no track record in first team management, he has been welcomed by the supporters – not someone that we had been aware off at the time. However, with the style of play in the last two matches, they were certainly an improvement and more entertaining than the previous, if not the results and something to look forward to next season with the new player recruitment.
Today Dermot Drummy signed his first recruit for next season’s squad – Dutch striker Enzio Boldewijn from Almere City F C on a two year contract. Also the club have brought in Charlie Gregory from Waltham Forest for pre-season trials having been recommended by new scout Turgut Esendagli, also from Waltham Forest, previously their manager.
Over the next two weeks, the playoffs take place and by the end of the month we will know the make-up of the 24 teams in League 2 – we already know the 4 relegated teams which include Blackpool the only one of the 4 teams the Red Devils have not played – Crewe, Colchester and Doncaster make up the list – Cheltenham Town have won the conference and return to the football league after being relegated last season. Grimsby won the playoff spot after beating Forest Green Rovers at Wembley last weekend and after 6 seasons in the conference are back into the Football League. Portsmouth are also staying put in League 2 having been beaten by Plymouth over two legs in the play offs.
The only credit for the club last season was the playing surface which has again been excellent since its renewal, and with a little bit of maintenance over the summer will look superb for next season. Well done the ground staff for their endeavours over the season, you did your bit, even if the team didn’t.
Supporters are now looking forward to a break from footy although this summer has the Euros with all home nations except Scotland being involved. This competition completes just prior to the first of the Red Devils friendlies. Already announced are matches against East Grinstead, Three Bridges – both away and Millwall at home – see table at bottom for the dates which will be updated as the matches are released.
The Club have advertised an "Operation Clean Up" on Saturday 21st May - so if you can spare a few hours helping to tidy up the Stadium for next season please do. Starts at 10.00am and goes on until 4.00pm with the club providing pizzas for lunch and anyone helping will get a voucher for one of the home pre-season friendlies.
Next season “season tickets” are now on sale at the club with no increase on prices – get your ticket early and save some money as the club have offer some early reduced prices across the range. As supporters we all live in hope that the next season will be better than the previous – I for one am very optimistic about next season already and we haven’t signed anyone yet – I and my family will once again be sitting in the West Stand watching and hoping for an entertaining and winning season.
Some stats for the season’s League 2 campaign – which make grim reading,
Position finished – 20th the Red Devils lowest ever league finishing position
Total Goals scored – 45 – average 1 per game – lowest since joining the football league
Total Goals conceded – 78 - one goal fewer than last season’s relegation from League 1
Leading goal scorers – Guion Edwards 8, Matt Harrold 8, (although loanee Rhys Murphy - 9)
Biggest win – 3- 0 both away – Cambridge United and Newport County
Heaviest defeat – Red Devils 1 Oxford 5 at home
Games since a win – 10 - (last 10 games of the season – 2 draws then 8 defeats)
Average home attendance – 2,433 -
Highest home attendance – 4,003 against Portsmouth
Lowest home attendance – 1543 against Dagenham & Redbridge
Total no of yellow cards - 73
Total no of red cards - 5
Average Crawley away travelling fans – 140,
That the final mention of the season 2015/2016 - hopefully next season there will be a lot more positives to read about.
THE NEW SEASON 2016 – 2017 START HERE.
Saturday 9th July 2016 East Grinstead Town 3.00pm Away
Tuesday 12th July 2016 Three Bridges 7.45pm Away
Saturday 23rd July 2016 Millwall 3.00pm Home
LEAGUE 2 fixtures released – 22nd June 2016
Opening League 2 match – 6th August 2016
Have a good summer off football – roll on July – oops forgot we have the Euro’s