Craig Bratt caught up with midfielder Matty Willock, who joined the club on loan from Manchester United on deadline day.
Matty, welcome to Crawley Town. You must be really excited to get going?
Yeah, I’m buzzing. I’m really looking forward to playing my first game and I’m glad we could finally get the transfer over the line, because I know it had been going on for a while. I believe that gaffer had been tracking me for a while so it’s good that we have got things sorted.
You’ve played top-flight football in Scotland with St Mirren and St Johnstone, so you’ve played good levels before. This is an excellent opportunity for you to gain some more experience of first team football.
I learnt a lot up in Scotland and really enjoyed my time up there and gained some valuable experience, but now I’m here at Crawley and I’m ready to kick on and enjoy my football and hopefully help the team be successful for the rest of the season. I was on the bench (at Bury) last Saturday. I didn’t get on but I thought it was a good performance. We deserved a draw and the lads were really pleased because Bury have been very strong, particularly at home.
What was it like playing in the Netherlands earlier in your career?
Playing for Utrecht was a completely different style for me. The game in Holland is a bit slower and the ball is very much kept on the ground. It was good to learn that more technical side of the game. It’s a lot more tactical than over here, and slower, so it takes getting used to but it’s all part of my development.
For those supporters who perhaps don’t know much about you, describe yourself as a player.
I’m a dynamic midfielder and I’m quite powerful. I’m a box-to-box midfielder and I like to run at the defences a lot and cause them problems. Hopefully I can chip in with a few goals between now and the end of the season as well and set them up too - that’s what I’ve been brought in to do.
How are you settling in and what are your first impressions of the manager?
The lads and the manager have welcomed me into the squad really well. I got some really good first impressions of the Head Coach. He’s a really passionate guy and I can see what he is trying to do at Crawley and I think he’s instilled that into the players very well. I really can’t wait to get going and work under him.
League Two is surely something you’re looking forward to. It’s a different ball game to what you’re used to and that must be an exciting opportunity for you.
I know it’s going to difficult and there’s going to be challenges coming along the way that I might not have experienced before. At this level it’s going to be hard as the League is so competitive and anyone can beat anyone, but I really can’t wait. It’s going to be a huge opportunity for me to get some more first team football in a good league. The club are in a good position heading into the last third of the season.”
Tell us about your brothers – they are both professionals as well aren’t they?
Yes, Chris is currently on loan with Benfica B from Arsenal and has played for England under-20s. Joe has played three times for Arsenal this season and has also represented England at age group level. We’re very close and keep in touch and hopefully we can all have a strong end to the season for our clubs.