Craig Bratt catches up with Tom Dallison, who is hoping to make more of an impression than he did in his first spell with us!
Welcome back Tom. Your last spell was cut short through injury, so I guess for you this is a second shot at things here?
Yes, absolutely. This is another bite at the cherry for me at Crawley so I’m really looking forward to the challenge ahead. I have played here a few times for Brighton Under-23sand I’ve always enjoyed it, so it familiar surroundings for me. I’m really looking forward to getting on the pitch and kicking on.
It must be really nice for you to come somewhere that you’re familiar with – It can always be daunting coming to a new club.
It is not too far away from where I live, so the family are happy as well and family is hugely important to me. I’ve played here many times, once for Crawley, and a lot for Brighton, but hopefully there’s plenty more appearances in a red shirt this time round.
As you know, it is very competitive in the defensive positions here. Are you relishing the opportunity to prove yourself?
Definitely. There are some brilliant defenders at the club. It’s up to me to get the shirt and keep it.
You came into the club at the good time, having picked up seven points from four games. It must be really good for the team to have a new signing around too.
Since I was here three years ago I’ve always kept tabs on Crawley’s results and always kept an eye out. I saw we had three clean sheets on the bounce and it gives the boys a platform to work on and continue the good start they’ve made in the New Year. Hopefully we can keep going.
How was the move for you up in Scotland, having begun this season with Falkirk?
I went up there in May and signed a pre-contract there. I moved all the family up – I had a four-month-old baby at the time so it was going to be somewhere we’d settle. Unfortunately for whatever reason it didn’t work out, which is part and parcel of the game. I’m near home now and it’s familiar ground for me. The home comforts are there too, so everything is in place now for me to come here and do really well, and I hope that is the case.
A lot has changed at the club since you were last here, but are there a few faces you still remember?
Obviously Youngy (Lewis Young) is still here, and Joe McNerney, Jimmy Smith. There are a few lads here that are still here from last time. Although it was only one game, it’s still nice to come here and see people behind the scenes who I recognise. I’ve been to clubs before where you go in and don’t know a single person. It’s what makes coming back so great.
Working with Gabriele Cioffi will be a new experience for you. His passion and drive is surely something that will be an advantage to you?
I spoke to him on the phone before I signed and he really didn’t have to sell the club to me. His whole approach and his passion came across really well. He really wanted me to get on board. We spoke tactics and things like that, and it was really up my street if I was to put it into words. He likes that I am a left-footed central defender because we haven’t got that. I’m determined to play my part in helping the club move up the table.