Josh Lelan never expected to be called a Red when he was growing up as a Derby fan.

But Crawley’s new defender believes lessons learnt with his beloved Rams will stand him in good stead for the rest of his career.

The 22-year-old Kenya international is aiming to seize a chance with Reds after being let go by his home club.

Lelan is under contract until the end of next season after signing during the January window and would love to climb towards the sort of heights to which he aspired as a youngster with the Rams.

Lelan, whose father is Kenyan and mother has both British and Dutch nationalities, grew up supporting Derby and being a Red signified association with the arch enemy, Nottingham Forest.

Now Crawley can reap the benefits of his upbringing at Pride Park.

Lelan said: “Derby was my boyhood club.

“I had a season ticket from when I was eight years old.

“I always had it in my sights to play for them and it was brilliant playing on my doorstep.

“The main influence there was probably Darren Wassell.

“He was the one who signed me when I was 14 and I’ve still got a good relationship there.

“I liked Giles Barnes as a player because he was the boy who came from Derby, who went through the academy and who made it into the Premier League.

“I left a lot of good people when I left Derby but that is what football is.

“It’s a career and you have got to take the positives out of it.

“I developed a lot at Derby and I leave it behind and think of the good things.”

Lelan has limited Football League experience from spells at Swindon and Northampton and is delighted to have time to prove himself at the Checkatrade Stadium.

He said: “First and foremost I want to do well for Crawley and we will see what happens in the future.

“I’ve got a decent spell here, some time to be able to prove myself, and hopefully we can be positive and climb the league.”