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Gary Croft Interview

By: Dan Humphrey
Date: 27/02/2001

As part of the 'Slipped Through The Net' series, The Fishcake asked Gary Croft, ex-GTFC and England U21 international full back a few things, from his opinion of Town managers, his situation at Ipswich, and of course, whether he visits the Fishcake site!!

Gary Croft

Fishy:
What's your favourite position left back or right back??

Gary:
I have no real preference to the left or the right side. It can depend on the game I play in whether I prefer one side or another.

Fishy:
You are approaching 27, so are you approaching your peak?!

Gary:
I think I am a better footballer now than I have ever been but without being a regular this season due to injuries and other factors it's been difficult to play the best football of my career.

Fishy:
Do you keep in touch with ex-Grimsby teammates?

Gary:
I still speak to Mark Lever now and again and it's nice to see some of the others when I go to Grimsby to visit. One of my best friends is an apprentice I used to play with called Stuart Burns.

Fishy:
How long is your present deal at Ipswich?

Gary:
I have 2.5 years left on my contract.

Fishy:
Would you agree that Ipswich and Grimsby are similar types of club? Unfashionable, hard working, passing teams etc.

Gary:
I think that there are definitely similar characteristics about Ipswich and Grimsby as both teams address football in its purest sense and both have had relative success in doing so.

Gary Croft

Fishy:
How was your relationship with Alan Buckley? How did you react to his sacking this season?

Gary:
I have a very good relationship with Alan Buckley and sometimes speak to him on the phone. I was extremely disappointed for him being sacked. I know Alan would always want the best for Grimsby Town and worked his socks off in order to achieve the highest standards he could achieve with the players and resources he had at his disposal. With his work rate and the work rate required at the club it was definitely a good partnership between the two.

Fishy:
How did react to Brian Laws' management? Did you rate him as highly as Buckley?

Gary:
I thought Brian Laws was a good manager and obviously used his experience in football to mould his views and principles on. And he had some excellent teachers, adding to that the more modern aspects of football which he brought in. He brought a much needed modern and professional attitude to football at GTFC.

Fishy:
Did Laws enforce your departure from Blundell Park?!

Gary:
Brian never enforced my departure. I think it would have been the board who accepted the bid and he wouldn't have had any say in the matter other than to offer the decision to me

Fishy:
What will you do when your career ends?

Gary:
I will definitely pursue a career at the end of football but I don't know what in yet. I have a property company at the moment based in Grimsby so I may do that I don't know.

Fishy:
You were seen at the Windscreens Final between Town and Bournemouth, what were your memories of that?

Gary:
I remember the final very well and couldn't help thinking how much the club needed it. And also of all the players who when they were at the club deserved success. But we were always in the first division so we never played in that competition. Our success was nearly beating Chelsea in the Fifth round of the F.A.Cup. (When asked, GARY didn't comment on whether all the players who leave Grimsby are cursed by misfortune or not!)

Fishy:
Have you ever visited The Fishy!!?!

Gary:
I have never seen The Fishy website but I shall go and find it!

Gary Croft

Our thanks go to Gary Croft and Ipswich Town for this interview.

Keep a look out for a Gary Croft feature in the coming weeks on the Slipped Through The Net series.

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