George Ray says he is ready to fill Ellis's boots
George Ray is ready to prove that he can replace the popular Mark Ellis at the heart of the Crewe Alexandra defence. Ellis moved onto Shrewsbury this summer after manager Steve Davis placed his faith in 20-year-old Ray to come through and become his long-term replacement.
Ray started last season in the Crewe Alexandra starting line-up after impressing in pre-season but he eventually lost his place to Ellis after a dip in performance. It was a harsh introduction to senior football for the Wales Under-21 international but he says that he learned a great deal from the experience.
Ahead of this weekend’s season opener at Fleetwood, Ray said: “I can’t wait for the new season to start. I feel fit and strong after the pre-season and I feel it is my time to come in and do everyone proud. I have got to replace Mark Ellis but that is the challenge and I am up for it.
“I started last season in the team and didn’t do as well as I would have liked but I’ve learnt a lot. I even learnt a lot from travelling with the first-team and watching them. I have also played for the 21s with Wales and played against some top players, like when we played against England.
“I am still only 20 and that is young for a centre-half but that isn’t an excuse. I am ready and I am up for it.
George added: “With Harry (Davis) out injured I’ve got a chance to stake my claim. I want to have a run in the side and keep my place when Harry is back. Duggy (Adam Dugdale) will be thinking the same, so we both know we have to play well to stay in the team.”