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Crewe Was A Great Grounding

9 October 2013

Steve Holland on how developing youngsters has helped him land key England role

England’s newly appointed Under-21 coach Steve Holland has praised the grounding he obtained as the Academy Director and first-team manager of Crewe Alexandra as ideal for his incredible progression in the game. Holland is now assisting Jose Mourinho at Chelsea FC and has already worked with the likes of Rafa Benitez, Roberto Di Mateo, Andre Villas-Boas and Carlos Ancelotti since moving to Stamford Bridge in a coaching capacity.

Holland, 43, is now working closely with the newly appointed England Under-21 manager Gareth Southgate as he tries to help the country establish an identity moving forward.

Ahead of England’s International double header against San Marino and Lithuania, Holland told the “My background in the game is through the development of players. I was the Academy manager at Crewe Alexandra for 17 years and worked with players from the age of six right through to the first team.

“One of those players was Nick Powell, who is now with the England Under-21s. My work with Crewe was a great grounding for me and during that period I worked really closely with Dario Gradi, who has an outstanding record for developing footballers.

Steve added: “I was able to take that experience with me to Chelsea and at first worked with the reserves which was fine tuning those 17-to-21 year old's before I was involved with the first team and able to gain the knowledge of how established senior players work and what motivates them.”

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