DEANO COUNT­ING DOWN THE DAYS

Craw­ley cap­ture waits for his de­but

The Football League Paper - - NEWS - By John Lyons

WINGER Dean Cox has thanked Craw­ley Town for res­cu­ing him from an un­cer­tain fu­ture and vowed to re­pay them on the pitch – next year!

One of foot­ball’s strangest sto­ries in re­cent times took a new twist when the 29-yearold joined the Red Devils on a three-year con­tract last week.

It had looked as though the winger was go­ing to join Northamp­ton Town from Ley­ton Ori­ent as the trans­fer dead­line ap­proached at the end of Au­gust.

How­ever, Cox wasn’t able to agree terms with the Cob­blers and re­mained an Ori­ent player.

His O’s con­tract was then ter­mi­nated by mu­tual con­sent – but not un­til af­ter the trans­fer win­dow had closed. It meant another club could sign him, but not play him

un­til the trans­fer win­dow re­opens in Jan­uary.

He said: “Not be­ing able to play un­til Jan­uary maybe put some clubs off, but Craw­ley came in with a proper of­fer to sit down and talk.

“I’m thank­ful they’ve given me an op­por­tu­nity, and a longterm con­tract isn’t to be sniffed at in the Foot­ball League. I owe Craw­ley a lot and I hope to re­pay them as soon as I can by scor­ing goals and help­ing the team.”

Dead­line

The for­mer Brighton man ad­mit­ted the last few weeks had not been easy, af­ter he found him­self in limbo.

“I had per­mis­sion to speak to Northamp­ton, but it just wasn’t right, and then we came very close to sort­ing things out with Ori­ent be­fore the 11pm dead­line,” he said.

“It’s not a sit­u­a­tion many play­ers end up in, and it’s not a nice one.

“It’s all been a bit wor­ry­ing. I can’t get paid un­til Jan­uary and you have to be able to pay mort­gages and live.

“I wasn’t aware of the rule and it’s a bit strange. You aren’t able to do your job and no-one should be in that po­si­tion. How­ever, the rule is what it is and you have to make the best of it.”

Cox will now recharge his bat­ter­ies for a cou­ple of weeks be­fore join­ing up with his new Craw­ley col­leagues in early Oc­to­ber. He may then go out on loan to a part­time Na­tional League South club to get some match sharp­ness be­fore the new year.

But he’s ea­ger to get started at Craw­ley and work un­der boss Der­mot Drummy, well­re­spected for his youth coach­ing work at Arse­nal and Chelsea.

“Der­mot has a very good name and (for­mer Ori­ent team­mate) Jay Simp­son told me he was a good

coach and man. I know the cap­tain Jimmy Smith re­ally well and he’s only got good things to say about him.

“We had a good chat and he seems like a pas­sion­ate man who wants to play the game the right way. We’re on the same wave­length.

“I’m a Hay­wards Heath boy, so I’m com­ing home. I’m re­ally look­ing for­ward to help­ing the club on and off the pitch.”

Spe­cial

While Craw­ley is the fu­ture, Cox re­mains grate­ful to the role Ley­ton Ori­ent played in his ca­reer. Af­ter join­ing in 2010, he went on to make 275 ap­pear­ances, notch­ing 59 goals. He added: “It was a re­ally suc­cess­ful time with a lot of high­lights: the draw against Arse­nal in the FA Cup (in 2011) and play­ing them at the Emi­rates, scor­ing in the play­off semi-fi­nal (against Peter­bor­ough in 2014) and also in the fi­nal against Rother­ham at Wem­b­ley, even though we lost. “I had a great time there and they’ve got great fans. “The club will al­ways be spe­cial for me. I gen­uinely wish them all the best and I hope they go up.”

PIC­TURE: Ac­tion Im­ages

GAME OF PA­TIENCE: Dean Cox must wait for his Craw­ley de­but Inset, Red Devils skip­per Jimmy Smith

PIC­TURE: Ac­tion Im­ages

HIGH­LIGHT: Dean Cox, left, scores for Ori­ent in the play-off fi­nal at Wem­b­ley

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