This is the time to show true support for your team and club - Steve Leake
Well, here we are on the verge of the 126th season of competitive matches played by Crawley Town FC (previously known as Crawley FC and who originally played in Navy blue).
If you want to see why we thankfully changed to red, why not become a backer for Noli Semper Cedere?
After last season, where we had to watch from afar, I fully expect us to make a concerted effort to reach at least the play-offs and have a three-pronged attack on the cups – and to that end I’m glad to see we have kept most of the players from last season, but would like to wish Josh, Joe, Tarryn and David all the best in their footballing careers, except, of course for when they face up against us.
SEE ALSO 'We were dominant with the ball and without it' - Crawley Town assistant manager Lee Bradbury on friendly win over Horley Town | Gareth Southgate condemns online racial abuse of Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka after Euro 2020 final defeat | Gareth Southgate on England's Euro penalty heartache: It's down to me ... it's incredibly painful | 'Every family has got a story to tell and this is mine' - Crawley Town fan's life told in new book written in Lockdown
I would also like to welcome our three new signings; Jack Payne, Harry Ransom and Owen Gallagher, to the club. They look exciting prospects and I only hope all our supporters give them a chance to bed in before pronouncing their judgements.
I am positive there will be more players lined up by John, Lee and Erdem to join our merry band, especially in goal and up front, and I hope and pray that we can withstand any approaches for the likes of Tom Nicholls and Jordan Tunnicliffe and indeed any of the remaining squad.
If you want a reason to hold fire on your judgement of players take the Three Lions. Just two weeks ago some of our fans, Crawley Town and England (you know who you are!!) were berating St Gareth, Sir Harry and Lord Raheem – and look what they have achieved.
The same could be said about our beloved Red Devils. I and, I’m sure John, Lee and Erdem want us to try to win every game, whilst appreciating that it probably won’t happen.
That’s the time to show true support for your team and club, when the going is hard the need for encouragement and support far outweighs the understandable urge to criticise.
Encouraging voices are far more likely to attract more people. And what do more people bring? More money, which hopefully strengthens the squad and brings success.
Also, “Come on lads, heads up, you can do better than that” (with or without expletives) will probably get a better response from the players than shouting abuse, booing or leaving early.
At the time of writing Crawley Town have played their first two friendlies against Walton Casuals and Horley Town. The friendlies this year feature a series of games against local sides from a lower level of football, and I see these as a way of giving back to where we came from ourselves, gaining much needed playing time for all our players and hopefully giving confidence to our forwards.
The three games against U23 sides are more important, I believe, and will probably be the games where John and Lee start to find what their best team is whilst coming up against talented youngsters who might be available on loan.
The game against Walton Casuals saw a comfortable 3-0 win for the Red Devils with goals from T.Riallist and Tom Nichols (2) with Crawley playing two completely different sides in each half and has fulfilled its prime purpose of getting match time into legs.
The game against Horley Town saw us go behind after just three minutes but goals by Nadesan, Own goal, Matthews and a hat-trick from T Rialist eased the Reds to a comfortable 6-1 victory. Sensible hat on here, as there will be tougher tests, but perhaps we have found another Watters.
Oh yes, and something remarkable happened this week as well. England made it to the Euro final over an emotionally charged Denmark in the semi-final but unfortunately lost, at the final hurdle, to Italy on penalties, prolonging the hurt to at least 56 years. Stepping stones though, semi--final of the World Cup 2018, final of the Euros 2021, world champions 2022?
Whatever 2021-22 brings, I am a Red Devils and Three Lions supporter. Are you?
STOP PRESS: Noli Semper Cedere crowdfunding target met, but not too late to become a backer for just £10.
COME ON YOU RED DEVILS