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Crawley Town using head coach's Chelsea connections to build towards promotion

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Since entering the Football League in 2004 by winning the Conference, Crawley Town have gone from the heights of multiple promotions and FA Cup giant-killings to the depths of financial crises and administration and back.  The situation seems to have stabilized since 2010, though ambitions remain, especially after playing in League One for three seasons.  in 2015, the club were relegated to League Two but instead of bouncing straight back, finished 20th out of 24 teams.

New manager Dermot Drummy, who was actually in charge already for the final two meaningless matches of last season, has been tasked with turning the club's fortunes around.  Drummy was a highly successful youth coach at Chelsea for almost a decade and he's now putting those connections to good use as he looks to build a squad capable of challenging for a promotion.

Yesterday, Chelsea confirmed Drummy taking center back Alex Davey on a half-season loan deal.  The 22-year-old signed a two-year extension last summer; this will be his fourth loan.  He had relatively quiet spells at Peterborough and then at Stabæk in Norway last season.

Davey joins fellow Chelsea loanee Mitchell Beeney, who's currently serving as the backup goalkeeper, as well as several former Chelsea trainees, both recent and not so recent.  Davey's former youth team center back partner Danny Pappoe joined just a couple days ago, while the one-year older Billy Clifford arrived a few weeks earlier after a season spent in non-league football.  The versatile Clifford and the injury-prone Pappoe both left Chelsea in 2014.

Completing the set is uniquely named midfielder Jimmy Smith, who once played the final 10 minutes of the 2005-06 Premier League season for Jose Mourinho, before leaving in 2009 and spending the next four seasons with Leyton Orient.  The 29-year-old has been with Crawley for the past two seasons.

Davey and Mitchell are both set to return to Chelsea on January 3rd, but if they do well, it's likely that their stays will be extended, perhaps permanently.  Best of luck to all of them!