Midfielder hoping to put his foot injury behind him and get back playing this summer.
First year professional Joe Howell is hoping to acquire more pre-season experience this season after being involved against the likes of Leek and Nantwich Town last season. The talented central midfielder endured a frustrating second part of last season after picking up a troublesome foot injury in December. He had previously shone in the earlier rounds of the Youth Cup but was forced to miss out on those memorable trips to Arsenal and Manchester City in the later rounds.
Howell, who was one of five Academy graduates to sign professional terms this summer, is hoping to be given the all-clear to resume full training again next week after working hard over the summer to regain his fitness.
Howell told Crewe Alex Player: “I was happy to get my first professional contract. I was the first out of the hat to be told, so it was just nice to come out with good news. It is always disappointing to see those that do not get taken on, but I will keep in touch with them because we have played in the same teams for many years.
“When I signed the contract it gave me some comfort and I was just ready to go again. I have had a bit of a nightmare with my foot last season because it just wouldn’t heal but I am hopeful that I will get the all-clear to take part in training and then push on to try and get involved in the pre-season games.
“I had a taste of it last season and I really enjoyed the experience. I had the chance to play at Nantwich, which was local for me, so I really enjoyed it. It was good to play and hopefully I can do that again this summer.
“The men’s game is faster and that is what makes it different to Under-18 and Under-21 football, but I enjoyed it and I cannot wait to get going again.”