James Collins says Under-21 victory shows how strong our Academy remains
Crewe Alexandra’s Under-21 manager James Collins says that victory in the Professional Development League II Final only enhances the club’s reputation as a successful Academy. Collins challenged the club’s Under-21s to try and reach the final this season and after losing just twice in the league format they did just by defeating Cardiff City 4-0 in the semi-final at the City of Cardiff Stadium.
The group then followed that up with a splendid and deserved 1-0 win over Queens Park Rangers in the final at Loftus Road. Max Clayton was the match winner with the only goal of the game barely a minute into the second half.
Collins was proud to have led the club’s Under-21s to some cup success but more importantly the victory enhances Crewe as a respected Academy.
The first-team coach told crewealex.net: “Winning the Under-21 Final and having the Under-18s take part in their own final on Saturday against Huddersfield is only a good thing for the club. From having 20 teams at the start of the competition both groups have finished in the top two of their leagues and gone on to reach the final.
“That only says good things about our Academy and the club. It gives everyone a lift and gives the players a taste of winning. Being a success is only a great advert for us trying to persuade players to come to our club.
“We are an Academy Category 2 club but feel we are a Category 1 club really and getting to the final only shows that we are at that level. It’s excellent and the players deserve the credit for their attitude and application throughout the season. They deserve it and you have to enjoy the good times.
“The staff here all put a lot of work in, to get the players through the system, and hopefully into our first-team, so when you get some success and win a trophy, at whatever level you have to enjoy it.”