Craig Bratt caught up with new signing Ricardo German last week for an exclusive feature in the matchday programme, The Reds. Here's what our latest recruit from Hendon had to say.
Ricardo, welcome to Crawley Town. You must be really delighted to be here?
“It’s a real pleasure to sign for the club and I’m really privileged to get the opportunity here. It’s such a good club who are now established in the Football League. It’s a big step from Hendon but I’ve been played at Chesterfield and I’ve been in League Two before so I know what it’s going to be like. I’ve got to work hard now to impress the gaffer and show people what I can do.”
Your goalscoring record for Hendon tells its own story with 21 goals in 28 games. Can we expect more of the same from you at Crawley?
“I’ve always loved scoring goals. That’s what strikers are paid to do. Goals keep you in the team and that’s all I want to keep doing.”
You join up with former team-mate Ashley Nathaniel George, there is at least one familiar face in the changing room.
“Ash obviously came from Hendon too, and he went to the same school as me actually, so I know him well. He’s come in and he’s done really well here. I’ve seen him score a few goals at this level and hopefully I can follow in his footsteps.”
What are you expecting from the step up from the Evo-Stik Southern League to League Two?
“There are more intelligent players at this level. Everyone is fitter because it’s a full-time environment, and as a result everyone is sharper. Obviously, the quality of player is better all-round. I’m hoping to get into the team and just score goals. That’s what I’m here to do and that’s what I want to achieve.”
You watched the win over Colchester from the stands and hopefully you liked what you saw! Are you raring to go to join your teammates on the pitch?
“It was a great win against Colchester and it was a really important win for the team and I can’t wait to be a part of the squad. I’ll join up with the players on Thursday and prepare for Saturday’s game against Cheltenham.”
Gabriele Cioffi has put a lot of faith in younger members of the squad this season. How do you see yourself fitting into a highly competitive environment?
“The gaffer likes to play a lot of young players, and that’s something that is good for me. He seems to favour young players and seems to work well with them. Panutche, he’s young, Reece (Grego-Cox) too. Ash as well on the bench, he’s still a baby really. The manager really believes in young players and that’s something I can hopefully use to my advantage.”
And, of course, the coaching staff have experience working with younger players, so that is going to be a huge advantage for you heading into the second part of the season.
“I’m really looking forward to learn things from the coaching staff. Nathan Rooney has experience working with youngster at Fleetwood and he is someone I can hopefully really learn from. Him and the gaffer – who I believe has worked all over the world - are a great pair and I’m confident they’ll help me become the best player I can be.”
Director of Football Selim Gaygusuz says the club will continue to invest in young players who have the potential to improve.
He said: “I know Ricky has come to us from Hendon, but he played in the League for Chesterfield and was very highly regarded there. He came back to London and has taken a step back to go forward and we’re delighted he’s chosen to do that with us.
“We like having young players in our squad. Ricky adds to the likes of Panutche, Ashley, David Sesay, Brian Galach and Tarryn. They all know that if they work hard, are professional on and off the pitch and train well they will get a chance here and then it’s up to them.
“We think Ricardo is a natural goalscorer. Time will tell but we have high hopes for him.”