Crawley Town’s new signing Jimmy Smith says the incentive of being reunited with his former manager John Gregory was key to him signing for the Reds.
The two worked together six years ago at QPR when Smith was on a year’s loan from the youth ranks at Chelsea.
Smith, 27, said: “I’ve got a lot of respect for him and I learnt a lot from him.
“He’s definitely a football man and has the right attitude. I enjoy the physical side as well as playing football. John will definitely bring in the right sort of players so we can do well. I’m sure he will.”
Smith also spoke to ex-Red Nicky Adams, who last week signed for Bury from Steve Evans’ Rotherham just three and a half months after leaving the Broadfield. The pair were former team-mates at Leyton Orient and Adams called Crawley a “great club”.
Smith impressed playing for Stevenage in both their games against Crawley last season, which ended in a 1-1 draw and 2-0 away defeat.
The attacking midfielder can play centrally or wide and has joined on a two-year deal for a ‘low five-figure sum’ and is Gregory’s first summer signing following 11 departures.
Gregory said: “I first knew Jimmy when I was at QPR and I’m delighted he is now going to be playing for me. He’s an aggressive, energetic midfielder and I like his attitude.
“He’s a winner and he galvanizes the players around him. He’s got a lot of experience at this level and I think he’s capable of even more and I’m delighted he’s coming to Crawley because I think he can really improve our squad.”
Over the next three seasons Smith played on loan at QPR, Norwich and Leyton Orient before joining the O’s permanently in 2009.
He went on to play 189 times for the club before moving to Stevenage last season, when he made 49 appearances and scored three goals.