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Eastman is relishing Crawley test
10:26am Friday 20th September 2013 in Sport
TOM Eastman is preparing to do battle with a club that helped kick-start his career.
And the clash is bound to rekindle happy memories for the powerful centre-half, who spent time on an emergency loan at the Sussex club between September 12 and October 16, 2011.
He played in six games – helping his new side win five – and says he reaped the rewards when heading back to the U’s.
“I had a successful time at Crawley,” said Eastman, who grew up in Clacton.
“It was my first loan move and quite an experience.
“I didn’t know what to expect and after signing for them on a Tuesday morning, I ended up playing that same night in a match against Swindon.
“Normally you get a few days to settle in and meet your new team-mates, but it was a case of straight in at the deep end.
“We lost that match 3-0 but went on to beat Bradford, Aldershot, Plymouth, Northampton and Shrewsbury.
“It definitely stood me in good stead and helped me get into the team at Colchester.
“It showed the then manager (John Ward) that I could handle playing in the Football League and when I came back I went straight into the team for a match at Sheffield Wednesday.”
Eastman, 21, played his part in Colchester’s impressive 2-2 draw at Bradford City, on Saturday.
It ended a run of three defeats and puts the U’s in positive mood for Saturday’s match against Crawley.
“Bradford had won their three home games, so we’d have definitely taken a point before the game,” said Eastman.
“Now we’re looking forward to another tough test at the weekend, as they all are in this division because there aren’t any weak teams.
“Their squad has changed a lot since I was there but there will be a couple of familiar faces, like Kyle McFadzean and Josh Simpson.
“My old Ipswich team-mate Andy Drury is there, too, and we were also on loan together at Crawley.”
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