Gradi says Crewe's reputation for coaching can still attract promising kids.
Dario Gradi remains confident that Crewe Alexandra can retain their young players even when the bigger clubs coming calling. Dario says that Crewe’s best youngsters have always been approached by the larger clubs, but he is proud that the majority of them decide to stay put or ask to return after releasing that the grass is not always green on the other side.
Dario admits it is more difficult to sign young players because the top clubs are now interested in them at a younger age but the club’s director of football still believes that Crewe Alexandra can still produce players good enough to go on and play at a higher level.
Dario told the club’s official web-site: “We can still recruit young players because of our reputation and what we can offer here.
“We can give them individual attention here that is our great advantage. The bigger clubs take on so many that they can get lost. I think it is important that you do your best to look after them and I think we do that here.
“It is a little more difficult because the bigger clubs are signing kids at a younger age. They want the Under-9s now. They used to wait and sign them at 12. Kenny (Lunt) came here at 8 or 9 and he was from Liverpool. They were not aware of him and by the time they were, he liked it here and wanted to stay here.
“I am not sure he would have come here if he had been at Liverpool since the age of 9, but if we can get them then we rarely lose them and we do find that they soon want to come back.
He added: “If our young players want to go then we won’t be taking them back. We will make a stance on that.”