Danny Crow: I got caught in the middle of Lowestoft Town dispute
- Credit: Greg Kwasnik/Focus Images Ltd
Former Lowestoft Town striker Danny Crow has defended his part in the Blues losing their academy players over the summer.
Lowestoft and Active Development Education (ADE) had a partnership to run the Trawlerboys' academy but when that relationship was severed the youngsters had to join Crow's newly set-up 'Road 2 Pro' academy to continue their education.
Crow's playing contract at Lowestoft was immediately terminated but the striker insists he was merely caught in the middle of a disagreement between ADE and the Blues.
'When I signed for Lowestoft I met ADE and they offered me the chance to coach for them,' said Crow. 'I did that for the rest of the season as well as playing for Lowestoft.
'It came to the end of last season and there was a breakdown in the relationship between ADE and (chairman) Gary (Keyzor) at Lowestoft.
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'The ins and outs of that I don't particularly know because I was employed to be a coach (with ADE) and I was a player with Lowestoft.'
Lowestoft chairman Keyzor accused Crow of 'abusing the club's trust' but the 30-year-old insists this isn't the case.
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'I think that's unfair. I've got the greatest respect for Lowestoft and Gary but I think that's unfair.
'The breakdown was between Gary and them (ADE). Whatever happened during those times is nothing to do with me. I was playing for Lowestoft Town and I was coaching for ADE. The breakdown in relationship is between them. I am honestly in the middle of it.'
The collapse of the partnership between ADE and Lowestoft has undermined the Blues' start to the season as, shorn of any youngsters to call upon, manager Ady Gallagher has had a threadbare squad to call upon.
Lowestoft also obviously lost one of their first choice strikers in sacking Crow, who appealed against the decision with the Ryman League and then the FA. Both appeals weren't upheld.
'During the appeals it's been very frustrating – all I ever wanted to do was play football and I've been unable to do that for two or three months.
'I believe the dismissal was unfair and I've appealed against it and I lost. I'm bitterly disappointed about that. I'm not going to sit here and slag Lowestoft Town off or the FA. It's happened now and I've got to move on with my future and keep developing these boys at Road 2 Pro and sort my own playing career out.'
Having some time away from playing has allowed Crow time to invest in the new Road 2 Pro venture. The scheme looks to give youngsters the chance to progress their football careers be it playing in a Saturday League or finding a club in the Football League whilst gaining an education at the Hewett Academy.
'Basically we are developing young boys around the local area to go and play football,' said Crow. 'We are not affiliated to any club and that's where we are different to other schemes around this area.
'They can play for anyone. They can play in Under 18s, men's leagues, anywhere.
'People have different ambitions but we give them an education. They are in training on Monday, education on Tuesday and Wednesdays. On Thursdays and Fridays we train.
'We also try to get showcase games. We recently played against Swansea Under 18s and the Newport Academy. It's a great chance for these lads to see what it's like at that level of the game.'
Crow would like to continue his playing career himself and revealed that several managers had already contacted him about his availability. He is seeking clarification from the FA whether he can make the move with Lowestoft still holding his player registration.
'I'm in talks with the FA because I've had five managers contact me,' he said. 'I've had more offers than I imagined. I hadn't played for three months but I've got to find out about the registration forms but from what I believe if you've left somewhere then you can sign somewhere.'