Harry Kewell joked he could call Albion target Maty Ryan and ask if he was coming to England.

That was in the run-up to the Seagulls getting their man last week.

He might be on the phone to illustrious former bosses like George Graham or Rafa Benitez if he needs help with man-management.

But the former Leeds and Liverpool favourite, now in charge at Crawley Town, has his own set views of how his side will play.

He hopes to see signs they are understanding that and putting it into practice when Ryan and the Seagulls visit in pre-season on July 22.

Kewell is in situ at the Checkatrade Stadium after sorting out some business back home in Australia.

He offers an illustrious playing career, a lot of energy and ambition and a taste of coaching and management with the Watford development squad.

But this is his first Football League managerial post.

He is ready to do it his way as Crawley boss – while seeking advice from an impressive contacts book when required.

Kewell told The Argus: “If you want to come into this game, you have got to have your own ideas. I don’t think you can replicate ideas off other coaches.

“You can’t just say, for example, ‘I want to work the way Frank Rijkaard works’ because you can’t see inside his mind. Out on the park, I want to bring my own football ideas.

“But, off the field, I’ve spoken to certain managers about certain ways of handling players – man management.

“I’ve had problems when I was at Watford with certain players and it’s ‘What would you do in this situation?’ “They will say, ‘At the end of the day it’s your team but I would do A, B or C.

“I’m very confident in what I want to do out there. But, with off-field stuff, I’m learning as much as anyone else. It’s about communication. That’s the biggest thing.

The Argus:

“Frank Rijkaard, above, taught me a little bit when I worked with him.

“Quique Sanchez Flores was brilliant with me at Watford, so was George Graham back when I first started playing. Even Rafa Benitez.

“You play your career and you have conversations with a manager.

“Then, for some reason, you find they are still there in your mind, fresh as a daisy, years later.

“They are coming through now and I remember what they did, how they spoke to that player, how they got the best out of that player. I also remember what was a no-go.

“But everyone is different. It’s a different generation now and a lot of people misunderstand that.”

Kewell sounds like he might just have found that out the hard way during his Watford stint.

There is a rueful laugh when asked about 20-year-old prospects these days. He said: “First and foremost, they play one or two games and feel like they have made it, which is sad because a lot of them have a lot of talent.

“You go back to the day when, even at Leeds, we could not talk until we had played 50 games. That’s virtually a year-and-a-half in the Premier League. Nowadays they make their debuts and think that’s it, they have made it.

“You see a lot of talent wasted because they have had that one sniff, they have loved it and they just don’t grab hold of it any more. But then not everyone can make it.”

Former Albion loanee Fikayo Tomori and ex-Reds goalkeeper Freddie Woodman are among the brightest of their generation after helping England win the World Cup for under-20s.

“Fantastic!” Kewell said. “But I feel sorry for the English players because we build them up, a bit like in Australia. Then the slightest fall, we like to nail them.

“But come on! They have just won it. Let them enjoy it and then, when they go back to their clubs get them back to reality.”

Reality for Reds for now is a forthcoming League Two season when the mission will be to better lowly finishes of the last two years. Kewell’s arrival will raise their profile.

Whether he can lift them into the promotion race remains to be seen.

But he will hope to have positive indications by the time he shakes hands with Chris Hughton at full-time on July 22.

He said: “I want my players to have an understanding of how I want to play by then and be confident of how to execute it.

“In pre-season games, you want to win and your confidence is growing.

“You don’t want to lose every game and go into the season saying, ‘We’re a little bit shady’.

“I’m interested in whether I feel they are confident enough to play the way I want them to play.

“Brighton had a wonderful season so it’s going to be a very tough game.”

It is likely to be a tough campaign, too, at times for Reds too, no matter how well they ultimately do.

Kewell will not lack in advice should he seek it.