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Andrew Lawrence Crofts (born 29 May 1984) is a Welsh international footballer who plays as a midfielder. He is currently a free agent.

Andrew Crofts
Me and Andrew Crofts2.jpg
Personal information
Full name Andrew Lawrence Crofts[1]
Date of birth (1984-05-29) 29 May 1984 (age 35)[2]
Place of birth Chatham, England
Height 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Playing position Central midfielder
Youth career
1994–2000 Chelsea
2000–2001 Gillingham
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2001–2009 Gillingham 174 (17)
2008–2009Peterborough United (loan) 9 (0)
2009Wrexham (loan) 16 (1)
2009–2010 Brighton & Hove Albion 44 (5)
2010–2012 Norwich City 68 (8)
2012–2016 Brighton & Hove Albion 71 (5)
2016Gillingham (loan) 6 (0)
2016–2017 Charlton Athletic 46 (1)
2017 Scunthorpe United 4 (0)
2018–2019 Newport County 9 (0)
National team
2002–2004 Wales U19 8 (0[3])
2005–2006 Wales U21 10 (1[3])
2005– Wales 29 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 11:40, 3 June 2019 (UTC)
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 07:24, 15 November 2017 (UTC)

He started his career with Gillingham, for whom he made his Football League debut at the age of 16, and made over 190 appearances for the Kent-based club. He had loans at Peterborough United and Wrexham during the 2008–09 season and joined Brighton & Hove Albion in 2009. After a successful season at Brighton he transferred to Norwich City in 2010, before moving back to the South Coast club in 2012.

A tough-tackling midfielder, Crofts represented Wales, where one of his grandparents was born, at under-19 and under-21 level and won his first senior cap in 2005. In 2008, he won his 12th cap, breaking the record for the most international caps received by a Gillingham player.

Contents

Early lifeEdit

Crofts was born in Chatham, Kent, and began playing competitive football at the age of six for a club in nearby Rainham. Between the ages of 10 and 15 he attended weekly training sessions organised by Premier League club Chelsea. He also tried out on two occasions for the English Schools Football Association's national schoolboy team, but was unsuccessful.[2]

Club careerEdit

GillinghamEdit

In September 2000, Crofts joined Gillingham as a trainee and was a regular in the club's youth and reserve teams during the 2000–01 season. At the end of the season, shortly before his 17th birthday, he was a surprise inclusion in the first team squad for a match at home to Watford,[2] and made his Football League debut as a late substitute, replacing Marlon King.[4] The following season, he suffered a broken leg during a reserve team match and missed several months of the season.[5] Although he returned to action in early 2002, his next appearance for the first team did not come until October, when he came on as a substitute in a League Cup match against Stockport County.[6] This was to be his only senior appearance of the 2002–03 season.[7] He finally secured a regular first team place towards the end of the following season, featuring regularly during March and April 2004.[8]

Crofts was a first team regular in the 2004–05 season, making 27 Football League appearances, and scoring his first senior goal for the club in a defeat to Brighton & Hove Albion on 26 December.[9] In January 2005, he signed a new contract designed to keep him at the club until 2009.[10] He was omitted from the team for most of March and April, but was recalled for the last match of the season, in which a draw with Nottingham Forest led to the "Gills" being relegated from the Football League Championship, the second tier of English football, to Football League One, the third tier.[9][11] In the 2005–06 season, he made the most appearances of any player in the Gillingham squad, missing only one of the team's 46 matches in League One.[12] Although the team struggled in the league, finishing in the lower half of the table, they defeated Premier League team Portsmouth in the League Cup, with Crofts scoring the winning goal.[13][14] The following season, he again made over 40 appearances and also scored eight goals, his best total for an individual season, but Gillingham again finished the season in the bottom half of the table.[15][16] He made his 100th start for the club on 18 December 2006 in a match against Bournemouth, and marked the occasion with a goal.[17] At the end of the season, he won four awards at the club's Player of the Year event and was dubbed Mr Gillingham by then-manager Ronnie Jepson.[18] He took over as team captain in the 2007–08 season,[19][20] but it was an unsuccessful season for the team, who were relegated from League One.[21] The following October he was stripped of the captaincy, which was instead given to Barry Fuller. Manager Mark Stimson stated that he felt that the captaincy might have been too much of a burden for Crofts, and had a negative effect on his form.[22] Soon afterwards, the club made Crofts available for transfer.[23]

Peterborough United and Wrexham (loans)Edit

In November 2008, he joined Peterborough United on loan.[24] Shortly after returning to Gillingham the following January, he went on a second loan period, this time to Wrexham until the end of the season.[25] He made his debut on the same day in a 2–1 defeat to Burton Albion.[26] Upon his return to Gillingham from his loan spell, he was released from his contract.[27]

Brighton & Hove AlbionEdit

On 29 June 2009, Crofts agreed to join League One club Brighton & Hove Albion on a two-year contract.[28] He made his debut for Brighton during the 1–0 home defeat to Walsall on 8 August 2009[29] and scored his first goal for Brighton during the 2–2 draw at Yeovil Town on 10 October 2009.[30] Crofts was given the role of captain by new manager Gus Poyet before the 3–1 away victory at Southampton.[31] Crofts was later confirmed as permanent captain at the beginning of January 2010.[32]

Norwich CityEdit

On 21 May 2010, Norwich City announced the acquisition of Crofts from Brighton, for an undisclosed fee, believed to be in the region of £300,000.[33] He became the club's first signing of the summer transfer window, signing a three-year deal at Carrow Road.[34] On 6 August 2010, he scored a goal on his debut against Watford.[35] He subsequently gained promotion to the Premier League with the "Canaries" in his first season at the club. He initially kept his place as a regular starter for Norwich in the top tier, but in the second half of the 2011–12 season he gradually fell out of favour at the club.

Brighton & Hove AlbionEdit

Crofts was transferred back to Brighton in August 2012.

GillinghamEdit

On 19 March 2016, Crofts re-joined Gillingham on loan until the end of the season.[36]

Charlton AthleticEdit

On 22 July 2016, Crofts signed a one-year contract with Charlton Athletic.[37] He scored his first goal for Charlton in a 1–1 draw with Southend United on 31 December 2016.[38] On 1 September 2017 the club announced that he had ended his contract by mutual agreement.[39]

Scunthorpe UnitedEdit

Crofts signed for Scunthorpe United on 31 August 2017, signing a one-year contract with the North Lincolnshire-based club.[40] On 18 May 2018, he was not offered a new contract,[41]

Newport CountyEdit

On 26 June 2018 Crofts signed for Newport County on a one year contract.[42] He made his Newport debut in a 3-0 defeat at Mansfield Town on 4 August.[43] He was released by Newport at the end of the 2018–19 season.[44]

International careerEdit

As one of his grandparents was born in Wales he was eligible to play for the Welsh national team, and after representing the country at under-19 and under-21 level he won his first senior cap, an award given to a player representing his national team, in 2005. In 2008, he won his twelfth cap, breaking the record for the most international caps received by a Gillingham player. Crofts was selected for the Welsh national under-19 team in 2002, qualifying due to having a Welsh grandparent.[3][45] He made his first appearance for the team in the Milk Cup tournament in Northern Ireland, but was forced to return home after suffering an ankle injury in the Welsh team's first match.[46] In total he made eight appearances at under-19 level,[3] including appearing in a second Milk Cup in 2003.[47]

After moving up to the under-21 level Crofts was selected for the national under-21 team for the first time for a match against Germany in February 2005.[48] He went on to gain 12 caps at this level, scoring one goal.[3]

He made his debut for the Welsh national team against Azerbaijan on 12 October 2005, coming on as a substitute for Carl Fletcher.[49] At the end of the 2005–06 season, as part of manager John Toshack's policy of introducing young players to the team, Crofts gained two further caps, both as a substitute, against Paraguay and Trinidad & Tobago,[50][51] and also played in an unofficial international match against a Basque Country XI.[52]

He was included in the starting line-up for an international for the first time in August 2007 when he played the full 90 minutes of a match against Bulgaria,[53] but was back on the substitutes' bench for the UEFA Euro 2008 qualifying match against Germany the following month.[54] He became established as a regular member of the Welsh squad during the UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying tournament.

Career statisticsEdit

ClubEdit

As of match played 9 May 2019
Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
Club Season League FA Cup League Cup Other Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Gillingham 2000–01[55] First Division 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
2001–02[19] 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2002–03[7] 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0
2003–04[8] 8 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 9 0
2004–05[9] Championship 27 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 28 2
2005–06[12] League One 45 2 1 0 3 1 2[a] 0 51 3
2006–07[15] 43 8 2 0 1 1 1[a] 0 47 9
2007–08[56] 41 5 1 0 1 0 0 0 43 5
2008–09[57] League Two 9 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 11 0
Gillingham total 174 17 6 0 8 2 3 0 191 19
Peterborough United (loan) 2008–09[57] League One 9 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 9 0
Wrexham (loan) 2008–09[57] Conference Premier 16 1 0 0 0 0 2[b] 0 18 1
Brighton & Hove Albion 2009–10[58] League One 44 5 5 2 1 0 0 0 50 7
Brighton & Hove Albion total 44 5 5 2 1 0 0 0 50 7
Norwich City 2010–11[59] Championship 44 8 0 0 0 0 0 0 44 8
2011–12[60] Premier League 24 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 26 0
Norwich City total 68 8 2 0 0 0 0 0 70 8
Brighton & Hove Albion 2012–13[61] Championship 24 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 25 0
2013–14[62] 23 5 1 1 0 0 0 0 24 6
2014–15[63] 7 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 8 0
2015–16[64] 17 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 18 0
Brighton & Hove Albion total 71 5 3 1 1 0 0 0 75 6
Gillingham (loan) 2015–16[64] League One 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 6 0
Charlton Athletic 2016–17[65] League One 45 1 2 0 1 0 3[c] 0 51 1
2017–18[66] 1 0 0 0 1 0 1[c] 0 3 0
Charlton Athletic total 46 1 2 0 2 0 4 0 54 1
Scunthorpe United 2017–18[66] League One 4 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 6 0
Scunthorpe United total 4 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 6 0
Newport County 2018–19[67] League Two 9 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 12 0
Newport County total 9 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 12 0
Career totals 447 37 21 3 13 2 10 0 494 42
  1. ^ a b Appearances in the Football League Trophy
  2. ^ Appearances in the FA Trophy
  3. ^ a b Appearances in the EFL Trophy

InternationalEdit


U21 performance[3]
National team Season Apps Goals
Wales U21 2005–06 10 1


Senior performance[3][68]
National team Season Apps Goals
Wales 2005–06 1 0
2006–07 3 0
2007–08 5 0
2008–09 3 0
2009–10 0 0
2010–11 3 0
2011–12 7 0
2012–13 2 0
2013–14 1 0
Career totals 25 0

International goalsEdit

Under–21
Score and results list Wales U21s' goal tally first.[69]
# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 16 August 2005 Stebonheath Park, Llanelli   Malta 1–0 3–1 Friendly

Personal lifeEdit

Crofts is a fan of Chelsea and at one time shared a flat with the club's future captain John Terry.[70] During his time as captain of Gillingham, he was involved with a number of charity events, including acting as a celebrity waiter at a Gillingham pub and presenting a signed shirt to a brain damaged teenage fan.[71][72] In January 2005, he dedicated a match-winning goal to his grandmother Lily, who had died several months earlier.[73]

ReferencesEdit

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External linksEdit