Alex Stedman chats to summer signing Cedric Evina about his time at the club so far and his aspirations for the new season.
Cedric Evina speaks positively when asked about how he’s found life at the Checkatrade Stadium so far. The defender joined the Reds on a season-long loan from Doncaster Rovers in July, and reveals he’s quickly acclimatised to life at the club.
“I’ve just got keys to a flat nearby and I feel like I’ve settled in well,” he begins.
“I just want to get my head down and work hard, play as well as I can and go from there. I do feel like the side will do well this year, it all depends on how we apply ourselves.
“If we do what we have been in the last month or so then we’ll set ourselves up well for what will hopefully be a good year for everyone at the club. If the boys apply themselves and keep working hard and improving then who knows what we can achieve.”
Cedric revealed that Head Coach Harry Kewell was a big influencing factor when the Frenchman was looking at moving to a new club for the new campaign. The former Champions League winner and Australian international was quick to implement his ideas on the team when the side returned for pre-season training at the end of June, and as the 25-year-old reveals, double sessions and intense weeks have been firmly on the agenda throughout July.
“From the first minute he made it clear to everyone how he wanted us to work – it has been tough but we’ve all enjoyed it. He’s getting his ideas across and we’re trying to reproduce them on the pitch, he’s a very demanding person, but that’s a good thing. He demands the best from everyone and pushes us which I think will be a big factor in us doing well this year.”
“That hard work will stand us in good stead – we’ll be very fit. We also get our rest in too and that’s just as important. The sessions are all recorded and we’re all monitored throughout. Hopefully it’ll carry us well through the season.”
The Reds are the defender’s fifth club, and the Doncaster Rovers loanee recognises the importance of establishing himself in the side here during this point in his career.
Like Mark Randall, he began his footballing career in North London where he won The FA Premier League Academy title, whilst also featuring prominently in successful FA Youth Cup sides too. Seeking first team football away from the Emirates Stadium – it’s a path that has led him to West Sussex.
“I started at Arsenal, and that was great. Then I moved on to various clubs before Doncaster Rovers and now I’m here. I feel like being at Crawley is a real chance to knuckle down a first-team place and get minutes under my belt this season – it’s really important for me and that’s my number one goal here.
“I’ve really enjoyed it so far. Everyone’s been really welcoming and we’ve all worked really hard over the last month. Now we’re in the last stretch of pre-season and really raring to go for the new campaign.”