Striker to be given the chance to earn a place in Crawley Town team
RICHARD Brodie will be given a chance to earn a place in the Crawley Town team after a year on loan at Fleetwood.
The striker will celebrate his 25th birthday on July 8, the day before pre-season starts.
And despite interest from a number of clubs, he will have the chance to impress new boss Sean O'Driscoll, just like everybody else.
He was signed from York City, whose boss then, Martin Foyle, now at Hereford, has enquired about the striker.
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O'Driscoll said: "Two or three people have rung me about Richard because he was out on loan last season. There have been clubs interested, including Hereford.
"The manager there, Martin Foyle, probably got the best out of him when he was at York and he's asked to be kept informed.
"I spoke to Richard just to inform him that I expected everybody to turn up for pre-season and if that changed he'd be the first to know.
"He has indicated he would like to give it a go in the new division and it's only fair to let him have the chance."
The player was signed from York two summers ago for a reported £275,000 by Steve Evans. He played in Crawley's Conference-winning season but wanted to return north and played on loan at Fleetwood, winning the Conference again.
Brodie will not be joined by Peterborough forward Nicky Ajose, a former Manchester United trainee rumoured to be on the Reds' radar, who O'Driscoll said was not someone being looked at by the club.
O'Driscoll hopes to talk to Eunan O'Kane, Torquay's attacking midfielder, later this week.
Meanwhile, the manager confirmed that Crawley will not cancel a pre-season friendly with Millwall, after the two clubs were drawn together in the Capital One League Cup.
"I spoke to Kenny Jackett [the Millwall manager] and he was completely fine with it," said O'Driscoll, who expects the two fixtures to be completely different.
"It's a long enough gap between the games and he will probably use a lot of his squad players [for the first game]," said O'Driscoll.
The cup game, in the week beginning August 13, comes before the season's opener, at home to Scunthorpe United on August 18.
O'Driscoll added: "I watched Scunthorpe quite a few times last year and Alan Knill always produces good football teams.
"They've got one or two exciting players.
"They are as good a team as any, so the Millwall game previously will be a good test."
O'Driscoll knows Crawley fans will be "excited" by the challenge of the new division, but anticipates a tough season.
The first week brings a trip to Swindon and then a journey to his old club Doncaster, while the last month sees them travel to Shrewsbury, Milton Keynes and Oldham and host Coventry and Hartlepool.
O'Driscoll added: "You can pick any month in the season and it looks difficult.
"In December we have three away games and one home game.
"As I've said before, we're by far the smallest team in this division.
"The club's worked hard to get where it is and we've got to meet the challenge head on."