‘Joe Walsh can reach the Premier League,’ Crawley boss John Gregory believes

Crawley's Joe Walsh celebrates his goal against Oldham with Kyle MacFadzean (Pic by Jon Rigby)
Crawley's Joe Walsh celebrates his goal against Oldham with Kyle MacFadzean (Pic by Jon Rigby)

Reds boss John Gregory wants to build his side around centre backs Joe Walsh and Kyle McFadzean.

Welsh Under-21 international Walsh was the subject of a £400,000 bid from an unnamed club on Wednesday, an offer Crawley turned down.

Labelling the offer ‘nowhere near enough’, Gregory said he was desperate to hold onto the precocious young talent, who he feels has all the qualities to one day play in the Premier League.

“He is 21 and still learning and growing up, it’s all ahead of him and there is a lot more to come from him,” Gregory said of Walsh, who signed a new contract last summer keeping him at Crawley until 2015.

“I’d like to be here and have good pre-season with them teaching them good habits. People like Walsh and McFadzean, who in my opinion I build my team around.”

McFadzean and Walsh have not only built a good understanding on the pitch but are good friends off it as well.

Gregory continued: “They have been monumental since I’ve been here. I knew about them before I came but having seen them and worked with them, they are very tight as a pair and play that way on a Saturday.

“I try get them on the same side even in five-a-side as much as possible. Importantly they’re starting to think the same and they are starting to appreciate each other.”

The duo have been the regular pairing in the heart of Reds’ defence under Gregory, with fellow centre back Mark Connolly also impressing the manager filling in at right back.

But he singled out Walsh for special praise saying the former Swansea man should aim for the very top.

Gregory said: “(They) really are very good together and no way I would like to lose either of them.

“Obviously money talks (but) it’s nowhere near enough (the offer for Walsh). For the likes of Joe Walsh, he’s got to be looking at Premiership football. That has got to be his target a year to 18 months down the line, Premiership clubs are looking at him.

And he added: “Even if he had just six months left I still wouldn’t be looking to lose him. He is a big part of this club at the moment and will continue to be.”