John Gregory has tipped Gavin Tomlin to be a key player for Crawley in the season ahead.

The former Port Vale forward finally made his first appearance for the Reds as a 61st minute substitute in the 1-1 midweek draw with Albion.

A combination of minor injuries had ruled the summer signing out of Crawley’s first three games of pre-season.

The 30-year-old will be included again as Crawley’s preparations continue away to Eastleigh today.

Gregory saw enough in Tomlin’s half-hour outing against the Seagulls to confirm he could prove to be an important signing.

The Reds boss said: “I was really pleased to see Gavin Tomlin on the pitch. I have a lot of hopes for him this season.

“I think he could be an outstanding player for us. He has got a trick, he has got a pass, he is cute, he knows where to run, how to receive it. He could be a really big player for us in the last third of the pitch so I was glad to get him on the pitch.

“He has had a couple of knocks, a couple of strains, so we have been looking after him on the training ground, have slowly introduced him and we will try to get a few more minutes out of him on Saturday.”