Crewe Alexandra boss David Artell has praised the work of the club’s Academy staff and says that producing our own young players will remain to be the cornerstone of the Football Club.
Artell, who worked as the club’s Academy Director, before being appointed first team manager in January 2017, says that with the staff numbers and resources we have at our disposal, our Academy is right up there competing with the best in the country.
The Crewe boss told crewealex.net: “There are some really good players coming through. Some of the second years have got a right chance, and the first years – I think we've recruited well again. The majority of them are local.
“I think we are the ninth best academy in the whole country in terms of productivity. I think we'd all agree that's pretty good going for a club of our size.
“That's just come from our audit. I don't know who the other eight are, we don't get to find out.
“But for the money we spend, compared to others – forget your Man Citys, try Derby, Sheffield Wednesday and Barnsley – the money they spend we are talking millions and millions and millions.
“For the money we spend for the return we get, we'd be off the chart.
“It's complicated, it goes back 12 years. It depends what level you play, how many games you play – it's the Premier League's criteria.
“Last year 65% of the first team squad had come to the club between 12 and 16, and 40% from birth to 11.
“There's no other club in the country – period, full stop – who will have 40% in the foundation phase and 60% in the youth phase, playing in their first team. Not one.
“There were a few things the auditors said we need to brush up on, but when they walked through the door on the Wednesday I met them in February, I could just put that under their nose and say 'it doesn't matter what you say to us, there you go'.
The boss added: “There are a lot of people here who work their absolute socks off for this football club, and the academy is the cornerstone of the whole place.”