By Jan-Malte Wagener

Thomas Verheydt cannot wait to get started into a new season at Crawley.

For the Dutch striker, a dream will come true if he gets to walk out against Port Vale tomorrow.

Verheydt always wanted to play in England.

The 25-year-old played for second tier Dutch club MVV Maastricht in the last two seasons, scoring 15 goals in 61 appearances of which 44 were starts.

Verheydt showed in Reds’ last pre-season friendly against Portsmouth that things are starting to click after having a few struggles to settle in.

Now he wants to get involved in the League Two campaign.

He told the Argus: “The second tier in Holland is good but it is my dream to play in England.

“There were also other clubs in other countries interested in me but I want to play in England and maybe when I score goals I can go to a higher league.

“It’s always hard when you come on your own to another country.

“They play differently, it’s a different language, so it takes time to be a good member in the squad.

“But I will work hard every day.

“I came two weeks later to the pre-season than the other guys, but now I am fit and it’s good to start.”

Reds lost 22-goal James Collins to Luton this summer but manager Harry Kewell is encouraged by his summer signing.

He said: “Thomas is coming to a new country – which means a new language, even if he does speak English. He’s got a young family and it’s tough.

“So it’s going to take time for people to settle in.

“We live in a time now where we can allow people to have time to settle in and to get going.

Back in the day, you just had to hit the ground running otherwise people would have a go at you.

“But he’s settling in well, the boys made him happy so we’re all happy.”

The forward from Den Haag scored his first goal for Crawley against Pompey and was well served by wingers Enzio Boldewijn and Jordan Roberts.

He admitted: “When you start with zero goals in the pre-season it’s a little bit hard and maybe puts pressure on you. So I am happy I’ve scored.

“We need to click now, to know what each other is thinking but that will come.

“I am strong in the air, only the footwork must go better but that will come, too. I am sure.

“We played 3-4-3 and that’s different to what I used to play in Holland.

“Now I know how the manager wants to play and the players in my area of the pitch know that too.”

The 3-4-3 set-up worked well in the first half against Portsmouth but Kewell is giving little away about his formation against relegated Vale.

He added: “That won’t be the starting eleven.

“You play the game you see. I was always a player who was always able to chop and change.

“Whether you play a 4-4-2, 3-5-2 or 4-3-3, you have to play to what the conditions are, you have to play to what the surface is like because anything like that can be the difference.”