New boy Emmett O’Connor has been told to grab his chance at Crawley.
Reds boss John Gregory made the 21-year-old Canadian his 14th summer signing on Tuesday.
The midfielder has impressed on trial in pre-season, including scoring a couple of goals in the opening friendly at Billingshurst, after paying his own fare to fly to England in a bid to win a contract.
O’Connor began playing competitive football in 2010 with St Bonaventure Bonnies University team near Buffalo in New York State. Last season he played for Scarborough City Celtic in the Ontario Soccer League.
Crawley handed him a trial on the strength of a recommendation from former West Ham midfielder Kevin Keen and now the player is looking to make an impact after signing a one-year deal.
Gregory said: “I listen to the people who recommend players to me, people I respect in the game.
“We signed Emmett O’Connor who was recommended to us by Kevin Keen. We spoke to Kevin about Emmett, he has come in, worked hard and signed a contract.
“I have to get some numbers in my squad and he is another number. He is another squad member. If he was to start ten games this season I would be absolutely delighted.
“He is the sort of kid that just wants to be a player, he wants to work hard at everything he does.
“He is a very good trainer and as you saw against Brighton he will go on and give everything at all times.”
Gregory will continue to use his contacts to find potential signings, including former Netherlands international Collins John who remains on trial at the Checkatrade.com Stadium.
Gregory said: “Someone like Collins John has turned up through our scouting network.
“When people I respect in the game tell you to look at a player I will do it. It costs you nothing and you can pick up a few gems.”
- Baldock, Murphy, Knockaert score as Albion go top. Now see how it happened
- Albion boss displays faith in Chelsea youngster
- Duffy scents chance to put rivals' noses out of joint
- Albion are the old heads of the Championship - but younger players know the ropes too
- Don't do it again, Knockaert tells the man who crocked Rosenior