RECALLING REDS: Former player Richefond on professional dream

Ryan Richefond in action for Crawley Town   Picture by James Boardman
Ryan Richefond in action for Crawley Town Picture by James Boardman

Former Crawley Town player Ryan Richefond is lifting the lid after he suffered the setback of being released from the professional game.

The midfielder made limited appearances for Reds after securing a one-year deal in 2014 after progressing through the club’s youth ranks.

DM158417a.jpg Football, Haywards Heath Town v Loxwood. Photo by Derek Martin SUS-150829-213241008

DM158417a.jpg Football, Haywards Heath Town v Loxwood. Photo by Derek Martin SUS-150829-213241008

Anyone who has met the 19-year-old from North London will agree he is one of the gentlemen of the game with time for anyone.

He recalls his time at Crawley fondly and is still close to many former and current players as he refuses to give up on his dream.

Richefond is going to be writing a series of columns for us on his current situation and snippets from the past at Crawley.

Hello one and all. For anyone who is a bit hazy on who I am, I came through the youth ranks at Crawley Town from the ‘Class of 12’ to sign my fist professional contract with the club in April 2014.

Ryan Richefond in action for Worthing

Ryan Richefond in action for Worthing

Looking back at that April, it was an amazing time for me and my family, signing my deal on Good Friday, the morning of the Crawley v Leyton Orient Game, incidentally Orient being my local team, and it also being my Dad’s birthday. So it meant my present to him was sorted!

After a tough season in 2014/15; which saw us have two managers, use 38 players and even saw Matt Harrold earn a stunning man of the match performance in goal v MK Dons, we were sent down to League 2 after a final day of the season loss to a young, energetic Coventry side.

Not what you want as any player, but for me in my first year as a Professional it hurt that bit more, especially considering that I wasn’t given the chance to help fight our cause in a league game.

From my point of view, the unsettled nature of the season with the amount of loan players we brought in had a massive impact on our final standing in the table. Especially looking at how many players we released at the end of the previous campaign.

Over the course of last summer I was out of contract and injured whilst the club scoured the leagues, looking for their next manager. After receiving a letter from Michael Dunford, I took him and the new manager up on their offer to return for a trial period with the club whilst allowing myself to gain fitness.

Just under four weeks into this period I spoke to the manager and due to financial restraints and the role he saw me potentially playing within the squad, we went our separate ways.

I had to play this season. That was clear in my mind. So I spoke to my former youth manager Mark Beard and signed for his Southern Combination League Premier Division side Loxwood.

I was back enjoying my football again after the disappointment of the last six months. The biggest difference for me dropping down is the speed of the players, which comes from training every day.

For a player with aspirations of getting back into the pro game, you can’t afford to stop pushing yourself and keeping the high standards that the best players demand of themselves.

So I continued to train every day with Luis Rodriguez, a one-to-one coach who works with Premiership players, and I have stepped up to the Ryman League with Worthing in early November.

A new challenge and one I was going to take with both hands.


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